food safety


Dr. Paula Rivadiniera is an extension specialist at the University of Arizona Yuma Field Office.  Her work is focused on biological and other threats to food safety in local fields.

Just days before the Thanksgiving Holiday the Centers for Disease Control is advising U.S. consumers to avoid romaine lettuce due to a multi-state outbreak of illnesses linked to E. Coli.

Lou Gum / KAWC

Federal officials say the e-coli outbreak that led to the deaths of five people and sickened hundreds more is over.  But the U.S. Food and Drug administration now says bacteria that contaminated romaine lettuce grown near Yuma, Arizona has been found in local irrigation canals.

New Ideas Wanted For Keeping Birds Out Of Arizona Crops

Mar 28, 2016
Paula Rivadeneira, University of Arizona

A flock of birds can damage acres of fresh produce.

“Not only can they eat the produce or eat your seedlings or your seeds, but they also poop in the field. So there could also be fecal material left behind,” said Paula Rivadeneira, University of Arizona professor at the Yuma Agricultural Center. “And that’s a real, genuine concern for food safety.”

To keep birds away, growers have tried more than just scarecrows – including cannons, noises that mimic predators and even lasers. Nothing really works.

UA Hosts Desert Produce Safety Conference

Jan 11, 2016

The University of Arizona is holding a food safety conference Jan. 11 in Yuma, with a focus on desert-grown produce.

The event will bring together more than 100 agriculture and food professionals, growers and other community members. Organizer and UA extension agent Paula Rivadeneira said the discussions will be tailored to regional concerns.

“We have a really interesting situation that we have produce growing in the desert. And so we have some things about our agriculture that are a little bit different from other places across the country," Rivadeneira said.