Aim. To investigate the microbiological quality, potential foodborne pathogen presence, and to phenotypically (antimicrobial resistance [AMR] profiles) and genotypically (DNA fingerprints and diarrhoeagenic genes) characterize Escherichia coli isolated throughout spinach production systems from farm-to-sale. Methods and Results. Samples (n=288) were collected from two commercial supply chains using either river or borehole irrigation water. E. coli was enumerated throughout the chain where river water was directly used for overhead irrigation at levels between 0.00 and 3.22 log colony forming unit (CFU) g-1. Following enrichment, isolation and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry identification, E. coli was isolated from 22.57% (n=65/288) of all samples. Salmonella spp. Were isolated from 3% (n=9/288) of river and irrigation water samples on one farm, and no Listeria monocytogenes was detected throughout the study. Of the 80 characterized E. coli isolates, one harboured the stx2...

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