Impacts of storm-driven surface runoff and landscape characteristics on Salmonella in farm irrigation ponds in south Georgia, USA
Harris, Casey Shannon
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The prevalence of Salmonella in waterways of the southeastern U.S. and elsewhere raises questions about the potential role of contaminated agricultural irrigation water in foodborne illness. This thesis provides background on Salmonella as a bacterial pathogen and its role in human illness and the environment, and the current status of food safety and related concerns for fresh produce in the U.S. We evaluate the influence of storm precipitation events on Salmonella transport through crop fields, forests, and streams in vegetable farm landscapes, and compare Salmonella levels in irrigation ponds across southern Georgia in the context of watershed and landscape characteristics.