Narrator: This is Science Today. In 2006, more than 200 people were sickened, and at least three people died, after consuming spinach contaminated with E.coli . To prevent future outbreaks in food crops, growers and processors are working with University of California-based scientists and specialists to study the biology, ecology and possible sources of E.coli in agricultural systems. Royce Larsen is one of several university advisors cooperating on a USDA research initiative.
Larsen: We're now going to take a look at livestock, wildlife and movement of E.coli. We want to know what the sources are, what the potentials are, what the risks are with them and then, if they are a source, how does it move? Those are all questions that we know a little bit about but not very much. And so, it's a big gap in our knowledge but it's affecting the whole industry.
Narrator: The four-year grant will also include outreach and best management practices. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.