Microbial ecology of food spoilage; meat, poultry, dairy; food safety.
Office: 228 Ellis Building
A central theme in the program is the development, use and evaluation of natural antimicrobials to extend shelf-life and safety of meats (fresh, cured and fermented). This necessarily involves work to understand how the inhibitors work so that inhibitor combinations can be optimized. Interest includes organic acids, essential spice oils, fatty acid derivatives, as well as a variety of natural bacterial, carnobacteria, other spoilage bacteria and pathogens (Listeria, E.coli O157:H7). Work will evaluate surface application of inhibitors to meat and involve development of active packaging film materials to delay spoilage and improve product safety. Collaborative work includes a variety of studies in food microbiology (eg. bacterial spores in flour, safety of cheese and chicken nuggets) as well as studies on survival and spread of zoonotic bacteria among animals and in their environment, as well as bacterial resistance to antibiotics.