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Food Microbiology

Of major importance is the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage. However "good" bacteria such as probiotics are becoming increasingly important in food science. In addition, microorganisms are essential for the production of foods such as cheese, yoghurt, other fermented foods, bread, beer and wine.

Food Pathogens

Food safety is a major focus of food microbiology involving the handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness.  Foodborne pathogens are the leading causes of illness and death in less developed countries killing approximately 1.8 million people developed countries foodborne pathogens are responsible for millions of cases of infectious gastrointestinal diseases each year, costing billions of dollars in medical care and lost productivity.




People specializing in this area


Catherine N. Cutter, Ph.D.

Controlling the microbiological quality and safety of muscle foods; HACCP for meat processors; intervention technologies for reducing pathogens; application of food grade antimicrobials, including bacteriocins; investigating the association/attachment of bacteria to surfaces.

Stephanie Doores, Ph.D.

Thermal resistance of microorganisms and microwave inactivation of pathogens; characterization of Sporolactobacillus and other Bacillus-Lactobacillus intermediates; growth and survival of Listeria in dairy foods; influence of cold shock proteins in survival at refrigeration temperatures.

Edward Dudley, Ph.D.

Molecular biology and genomics of foodborne pathogens. Diversity of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains; mechanisms of survival in the environment and food products.

Hassan Gourama, Ph.D.

Food microbiology and mycology with emphasis on teaching and extension activities associated with food pathogens and their control.

Stephen J. Knabel, Ph.D.

Heat resistance of Listeria monocytogenes; role of heat shock proteins in thermotolerance; recovery of injured foodborne pathogens; novel, rapid methods for the detection of foodborne pathogens; control of foodborne pathogens in meat, poultry, egg and dairy products.

Robert F. Roberts, Ph.D.

Understanding the relationship of processing parameters to microstructure and sensory attributes of cultured dairy products and ice cream, exopolymer-production of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus; application of colicins as preservatives in food systems.