Director of the National Good Agricultural Practices Program
11 Stocking Hall
I am actively engaged in food safety extension/outreach activities with all sectors of the food system including production agriculture, food processing, food retailing, food service, regulatory training, consumer information, as well as food protection and defense (food biosecurity). In addition, I teach or co-teach three Food Science courses, am a Dining Discussion Faculty Fellow and maintain a small research program.
Current research focuses on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and assisting growers and packing house operators reduce microbial hazards and risks in the production and packing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Another research project, in collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Communication and the Division of Nutritional Sciences, examined the knowledge, perception of food safety risk and factors assocciated with home food preparation practices among the Mexican-American population. A paper detailing the results of this project has been accepted by the peer reviewed journal, Food control. A project studying how severly food allergic consumers manage their food allergies has been completed and the results have been distributed to extension constituents. Data from this study is being compiled and analyzed with data from another survey site in the U.S. and is being prepared for publication.
The focus of our Extension/Outreach program is to provide the principles of food safety assurance to all sectors of the food system and assist constituents in agricultural production, food processing, food retailing, food service, government agencies and consumers with practical and useful information to assure the safety of foods. In recent years, the concepts of food protection and defense (food biosecurity) have been incorporated into our extension/outreach programs. In adition, the best practices for communicating the risks involved in food product recalls, as well as a catastrophic food event, have been shared with a variety of food industry and regulatory agency officials.
The focus of my teaching program is to stimulate student interest in, and enthusiasm for food science and food safety through the use of innovative technologies (electronic student polling, video clips, etc.) and instructional methods. I currently teach a course in Food Safety Assurance, co-teach Food Choices and Issues, a popular course where the relationship between food, diet and health, food technology, and contemporary food issues are addressed and teach a course on Leadership and Careeer Skills in Food Science. This leadership course is unique and is the only taught within a Food Science curriculum in the country. It is designed for second semester Food Science majors and provides students with opportuities to assess their personality types, the strengths that they possess, as well as their leadrship behaviors and reinforce how these indicators can be used in their daily activities. I also guest lecture in several other courses in Food Science, Nutritional Sciences and Crop and Soil Sciences.