Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2006
Publication Date: 4/26/2006
Citation: Annous, B.A., Burke, A.M., Wallace, M., Kushad, M. 2006. Risk of apple contamination with escherichia coli o157:h7 due to close proximity of an orchard to an active pasture. Abstract Book of Sixth IFPA and S-294 Poster Session and IFPA 18th Annual Conference. 2006. 002-06. Page 1.
Technical Abstract: Outbreaks associated with consumption of unpasteurized apple cider or juice, have resulted in hundreds of cases of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections in the U.S. In this study, we evaluated the association between apple contamination with E. coli and the close proximity of the orchard to a pasture. Apple samples collected from orchards adjacent to and distant from an active pasture were up to 100 and 33%, respectively, positive for generic E. coli. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from soil samples collected from the orchard adjacent to the pasture, and from soil and fecal samples collected from the pasture. Results of PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis showed that E. coli O157:H7 strains isolated from the orchard were identical to isolates from the pasture. This study confirms that close proximity of an orchard to a pasture increases the risk of E. coli contamination of apples. Although none of the isolates from apples were E. coli O157:H7, its presence in the orchard environment can be a potential source of contamination. Thus, it is advisable that orchards not be located near a pasture or other animal production facilities.