Experts on Salmonella, E. coli, and Food Safety
University of California, Davis
July 3, 2008
With numerous recent outbreaks of both salmonella and E. coli food poisoning across the United States, these UC Davis faculty members are available for comment on related topics.
Produce Safety Research — Trevor Suslow is a Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences with extensive technical and applied research experience in postharvest pathology, quality, and safety of perishable produce. He can discuss hazard analysis and risk assessment of E. coli, salmonella, and other pathogen contamination in fruits and vegetables from field to fork.
Suslow has provided technical input to industry and federal food-safety documents and helped implement training programs since 1995, and is broadly knowledgeable about what industry is doing to prevent or mitigate microbial contamination, how pathogen testing is being integrated into this effort, and whether microbial food-safety initiatives could have detrimental environmental impacts.
Contact: Trevor Suslow, Plant Sciences, (530) 754-8313, cell (530) 304-1257, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Produce Safety Education — James Gorny is executive director of the Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center at UC Davis. The center provides research-based information to the fresh-produce industry, as well as consumers, on how fresh fruits and vegetables should be handled to reduce losses and maintain their quality, safety, and marketability. Gorny also has expertise in produce food-safety regulatory policy and served as editor-in-chief of numerous produce food safety-guidance documents currently in use by the industry today.
Tracking E. coli -- Rob Atwill is a specialist in waterborne infectious diseases in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He is part of a team of UC and government scientists who are tracking the sources of E. coli O157:H7 in California's Salinas Valley as part of a large study funded by the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). He has projects on microbial water quality throughout California addressing a wide range of issues related to livestock, wildlife, and water quality.
Contact: Rob Atwill, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 754-2154, email@example.com.
Economics and Policy -- Daniel Sumner is the Frank H. Buck Jr. Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, based at UC Davis. Sumner specializes in national and international agricultural policy. He can discuss the impacts of foodborne-illness outbreaks on agriculture in California and throughout the United States.
Contact: Daniel Sumner, Agricultural Issues Center, (530) 752-1668, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economics and Policy in Fresh-Produce Industry -- Roberta Cook is a Cooperative Extension economist who focuses on fresh-produce marketing, food distribution, and international trade in fruits and vegetables. She can discuss the long- and short-term impacts of disease outbreaks on the fresh-produce industry.
Contact: Roberta Cook, Agricultural and Resource Economics, (530) 752-1531, email@example.com.
Produce Safety -- Bonnie Fernandez is the executive director for the Center for Produce Safety in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. The center was established through a cooperative arrangement with the produce industry. Its mission is to provide ready-to-use, science-based solutions that prevent or minimize produce safety vulnerabilities.
Contact: Bonnie Fernandez, Center for Produce Safety, (530) 757-5777, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumer Attitudes -- Christine Bruhn is a UC Davis food-science marketing specialist, director of the UC Davis Center for Consumer Research, and a national expert on consumer attitudes about food. She can discuss public reaction to the current illness outbreaks and how consumers can best guard against foodborne illnesses.
Contact: Christine Bruhn, Food Science and Technology, (530) 752-2774, cell (530) 219-2888, email@example.com.
Safe Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts -- Linda Harris is a University of California Cooperative Extension food microbiologist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, and associate director of the UC Davis-based Western Institute for Food Safety and Security.
Her laboratory conducts research on the foodborne pathogens salmonella, E. coli, shigella and Listeria monocytogenes. She can discuss food-safety issues, especially those relating to the fruit, vegetable, and nut industries, as well as consumer food-safety practices such as the best ways to wash fruits and vegetables.
Contact: Linda Harris, Food Science and Technology, (530) 754-9485 or 757-5767, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Animal Science and Policy -- Jerry Gillespie is a UC Davis veterinary pathologist with special expertise in the area of food animals and food safety. He can discuss policy issues related to E. coli outbreaks and how science, government, and industry are working together to address food safety and food security challenges.
Contact: Jerry Gillespie, Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, (707) 744-1617, email@example.com.
Diseases Transmitted Via Food and Water -- Dean Cliver is an emeritus professor of food safety in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and an expert on diseases that can be spread through food and water. He has served as an adviser to state and federal agencies on a variety of food-safety issues. He can discuss the science of microbial diseases and how illness caused by E. coli, salmonella, etc. can be transmitted to people via fresh foods.
Contact: Dean Cliver, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 754-9120 or 759-9459, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conventional and Organic Agriculture -- Karen Klonsky is a Cooperative Extension economist who specializes in farm business management issues, including organic agriculture. She can discuss the implications of E. coli outbreaks for California's farmers.
Contact: Karen Klonsky, Agricultural and Resource Economics, (530) 752-3563, email@example.com.
Mad Cow Disease Experts -- UC Davis faculty members study mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and provide educational programs for a wide variety of consumer, producer and veterinary groups. See our experts list online at:
The UC Davis Postharvest Center has produce-related videos and PDF files posted online that are useful for consumers as well as industry members. Topics range from "How to Tell if Your Fruits and Vegetables Have Gone Bad" to "Growing, Handling, and Shipping California Cantaloupes." See the list at:
- Sylvia Wright, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-7704, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mitchel Benson, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9844, email@example.com