Project Number: 8042-32420-005-35-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jan 1, 2012
End Date: Jun 30, 2013
The objective of this study is to evaluate TMECC and EPA pathogen detection methods in order to accurately determine the presence of populations of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, non-pathogenic E. coli, and fecal coliforms in ‘point of sale’ composts collected from commercial operations across the United States. Correlations between the presence of pathogens and several physico-chemical parameters (moisture, water activity, electrical conductivity, soluble carbon, pH, and carbon:nitrogen ratios) will be investigated.
ARS will acquire the basic knowledge about the stresses that pathogenic E. coli or Salmonella strains undergo in compost and their prevalence in various types of compost. The carbon:nitrogen ratio will evaluated in commercial formulations. Based on these findings, compost formulations using specific C:N ratios will then be formulated to determine survival and inhibition of E. coli and Salmonella.