Although the researchers are not suggesting any changes in policies or guidelines, Bell said the study does document “a critical window at the time of transplant” that growers should be aware of. Follow-up work on the root study is planned to look for a way to stop seedlings’ intake of pathogens through root wounds.
Bell plans also to initiate research on Salmonella Newport in the environment around certain North Carolina growing operations. She said the pathogen seems to be making its way down the East Coast. All findings will be added to a source-tracking database to help investigators during outbreaks.