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Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website factsheets, “Escherichia coli 0157:H7,” “Listeriosis,” “Salmonellosis,” “Campylobacter Infections”, “Frequently Asked Questions about Food Irradiation,”, retrieved 1/16/05.
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service website, “Irradiation of Raw Meat and Poultry, Questions and Answers,” “Questions and Answers/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems,”, retrieved 1/16/05.
  • New York Times editorial, “Meat Safety at Risk,” 12/30/03.
  • Avery, Dennis T., “The World Can’t Win A War Against Plant Nutrients,” Hudson Institute website,, Nov. 9, 1998, retrieved 2/6/03.
  • Taylor, Michael R et al, “Food Safety Updated: Developing Tools for a More Science- and Risk-Based Approach, “ appendix, Resources for the Future, 2003.
  • Summary of National Summit: Human Pathogens From Livestock Manures, Oregon Tilth, June 30, 2003.

Key Questions

Disease Information - CDC

  • • What are the risk factors, symptoms, level of threat to human life, most vulnerable groups of people affected and precautions that will reduce the risk of exposure and treatment for the following food borne pathogens and diseases.
    • Escherichia coli 0157:H7
    • Listeriosis
    • Salmonellosis
    • Campylobacteriosis
  • Which disease is an example of the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animal operations being dangerous to human health, as the practice might lead to resistance development in the disease causing organisms?
  • What are the benefits of food irradiation?
  • How safe are the irradiated foods?
  • How is DNA content of the pathogens related to the intensity of irradiation?
  • How effective is food irradiation against viruses and prions?
  • What type of foods are not suitable for irradiation?
  • Which federal agencies regulate food irradiation?
  • Do the existing laws provide the federal agencies sufficient regulatory power to ensure food safety at all food processing plants?

The World Can’t Win A War Against Plant Nutrients

  • According to the author , what we learn in ASP does not make sense. In what ways and what do you say in response?
  • Does manure production from CAFO’s hold promise for organic farming? Food Safety Updated: Developing Tools for a More Science and Risk-Based Approach
  • What is the difference between the concepts of DALY and QALY?
  • Can QALY be controversial? ( Consider the example in the reader).
  • How important is the risk posed to human life by low food safety in the US, when compared to other sources of risks?
  • What is the drawback of using cost of illness framework in studying economic costs of foodborne diseases?
  • Is the cost benefit ratio for adopting HACCP procedures for food inspection favorable?

Human Pathogens From Livestock Manures

  • What is the health concern linked to manure usage in agriculture?
  • Which is the regulatory authority for issues concerning manure and manure-based material application for farming?
  • What are some of the guidelines provided in the National Organic Standards with reference to manure application for agriculture?
  • What are some of the recommendations of the Compost Task Force with reference to the process of composting and vermicomposting for usage in agriculture?
  • What characteristic feature of the process of composting reduces the risks of manure being the source of pathogens leading to contamination of foods?