Assessing Wildlife and Animal Contamination - Decision Support Tool for Grower Adoption of Food Safety Practices

Added by Anna Loewald • Last updated July 9, 2024
Author: Anna Loewald
Type: Project (Food Safety Outreach Program - FSOP), Tools & Calculators
Topic: Wildlife, Domestic Animals & Land Use, Produce Safety Rule (PSR)
State: VT
Language: English

This is an online interactive tool designed to help growers make risk-based decisions when planning food safety practices related to having animals in their field and the potential for fecal contamination of raw produce.


The Assessing Wildlife and Animal Contamination tool:

  • provides a simple and accessible method of prioritizing changes to improve food safety specifically related to animal intrusion, fecal contamination, and other factors that influence the spread of that contamination, and
  • calculates the easiest to implement changes with the greatest food safety impact and identifies those practices for action first.

To do this, the tool provides:

  • science-based survey questions focused on distilled aspects of wildlife and animal contamination which includes:
    • land use,
    • animal activity,
    • irrigation,
    • routine scouting,
    • pre-harvest,
    • harvest,
    • meteorological, and
    • training,
  • curated science-based recommendations based on survey answers,
  • cited resources for further investigation, and
  • figures and tables for easier comprehension of food safety concepts and recommendations.

This tool can be used:

  • as an educational tool in conjunction with food safety trainings,
  • as an educational tool with one-on-one educator aid to growers,
  • at the start of a growing season when growers are planning and developing an animal intrusion and contamination standard operating procedures (SOPs),
  • when there is a change in animal activity on adjacent land or within an operation, and
  • on an annual basis since the recommendations will adjust based on changes made on the farm over the previous year. 

     


This project is funded by the Food Safety Outreach Program grant no. 2020-70020-32264 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

 


 


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