Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-06-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $1,500 Total Non-Federal Funds: $3,762
Principal Investigators: Kalmia Kniel
Abstract: The agriculture industry is currently in need of research and data to aid in development of updated and cost-effective standards and metrics for food safety. However, it has become increasingly difficult for the industry to do so due to a lack of scientific research and background information. When developing new laws and benchmarks for food safety procedures, it is impossible to overlook the number one route of contamination in the food industry, water. This project will help aid in the development of scientifically-based metrics for the new FDA produce regulations that must be distributed according to the Food Safety Modernization Act. While water is one of the hardest variables to control in the production of crops, whether it is rainwater or irrigation, it is also the variable of most concern. History has proven that outbreaks with raw and/or minimally processed produce are especially popular, solidifying the need for experiments such as the one being proposed to help regain consumer confidence in the United States. This project would focus mainly on irrigation practices and water sources in agricultural watersheds, as they are of most concern to public health. With Delaware, especially Sussex County, being an area heavily concentrated in the agriculture industry, it is essential to do as much research as possible in both water safety and water contamination. Not only are the watersheds of agricultural areas of concern, but also recreational water sources within a predetermined proximity of a livestock production area.