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Data from: Comanaging fresh produce for nature conservation and food safety

Citation

Karp, Daniel S. et al. (2016), Data from: Comanaging fresh produce for nature conservation and food safety, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q5rs8

Abstract

Fresh produce has become the primary cause of foodborne illness in the United States. A widespread concern that wildlife vector foodborne pathogens onto fresh produce fields has led to strong pressure on farmers to clear noncrop vegetation surrounding their farm fields. We combined three large datasets to demonstrate that pathogen prevalence in fresh produce is rapidly increasing, that pathogens are more common on farms closer to land suitable for livestock grazing, and that vegetation clearing is associated with increased pathogen prevalence over time. These findings contradict widespread food safety reforms that champion vegetation clearing as a pathogen mitigation strategy. More generally, our work indicates that achieving food safety and nature conservation goals in produce-growing landscapes is possible.

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