Food Microbiology

The Food Microbiology science focus area involves research to improve our understanding of how microorganisms survive in foods and processing environments, providing food industry members and regulatory stakeholders with the knowledge needed to make real-world business and policy-making decisions that enhance food safety and health for all consumers.

Focal Research Areas

  • Growth, survival and behavior of microorganisms in food processing systems, production environments and products
  • Pathogen stress responses using new molecular tools to understand survival in conditions relevant to food manufacturing
  • Characteristics and diversity of microorganisms
  • Post-harvest factors to enhance safety of fresh produce
  • Characteristics and behavior of bacterial endospores
  • Microbiological sampling, sample preparation, detection and enumeration methods
  • Microbial ecology
  • Recovery, survival and inactivation of viruses

IFSH’s Assets and Capabilities

  • Extensive experience in Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli detection and identification methods
  • Top-notch scientific support studies on microbial growth, survival, niche development, stress response, inhibition and inactivation
  • Outstanding analytical capabilities, including immunocapture, polymerase chain reaction, ribotyping, protein fingerprinting, epifluorescence microscopy, solid phase cytometry and impedance
  • State-of-the-art research facilities, including a fully operational pilot plant with a GMP processing and kitchen area, a BSL-2 food processing laboratory suite, and a BSL-3 laboratory and biocontainment pilot plant
  • Expert knowledge on detection and mitigation strategies for foodborne viruses

Key Staff Members and Contact Information

Research Assistant Professor, IIT
708-563-8170
Scientist (Microbiologist), Assistant Professor, IIT
708.563.8824
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, IIT
708.563.8194
Director, Center for Processing Innovation, Associate Professor, IIT
708.563.8277
Director, Business Development, Adjunct Industry Professor, IIT
708.563.8175
IFSH Associate Director, Professor of Food Science, IIT
708.563.8287