Science

Organic composts may help farmers prevent foodborne disease outbreaks

A new analysis of a 27-year experiment comparing organic and conventional soil management indicates that animal-based composts do not promote pathogen survival and may even promote bacterial communities that suppress pathogens. Credit: Dr. Devarajan

Foodborne disease outbreaks linked to the consumption of fresh produce have caused farmers to re-evaluate their practices. A recent analysis of a 27-year experiment comparing organic and conventional soil management indicates that animal-based composts do not promote pathogen survival and may even promote bacterial communities that suppress pathogens.

The study, which is published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, comes following other research documenting a higher prevalence of foodborne pathogens in fields fertilized with raw animal manure compared with conventional fertilizers.

“Our findings suggest that abandoning animal-based composts should be reconsidered, both because of the known benefits of composts for soil health and because it may be possible to apply amendments so that food-safety risks are mitigated rather than exacerbated,” said lead author Naresh Devarajan, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis.


Discovering gaps in food safety practices of small Texas farms


More information:
N. Devarajan et al, Cascading effects of composts and cover crops on soil chemistry, bacterial communities and the survival of foodborne pathogens, Journal of Applied Microbiology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/jam.15054

Citation:
Organic composts may help farmers prevent foodborne disease outbreaks (2021, April 7)
retrieved 7 April 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-composts-farmers-foodborne-disease-outbreaks.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Follow us on Google News  

Read original article here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button