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Food Microbiology


The Committee on Food Microbiology is committed to proactively improving the understanding and control of microbial food safety hazards to enable scientifically informed decision making.  This is achieved through supporting sound science, sponsoring break-through research and fostering collaboration amongst academia, government, and industry.
IAFP 2015

The committee sponsored 3 scientific sessions and 3 posters at IAFP 2015. Video of theses sessions can be found here.
  • Current Perspectives in Food Safety Roundtable
  • The Rise of the Genomes II: Practical Integration of Whole Genome Sequencing into Food Safety
  • How do I Validate That? Assuring Credibility of Process Controls for Pathogen Reduction


In advance of setting priorities for each new research cycle, the committee and its scientific advisors hold a research roundtable with representatives of the following federal and international agencies: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the US Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (FDA/CFSAN); the US Food and Drug Administration/Office of Food and Veterinary Medicine and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the USDA, European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada. The objective of these roundtable discussions is to identify emerging food microbiology research needs considered critical to public health.

Research Grant Cycles 

Research Grant Cycle 2013-2015
The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is pleased to announce the recipients of research grants on pathogen reduction in spices:
Monica Ponder, PhD, Virginia Tech
“Protocol and Surrogate Validation for the Inactivation of Salmonella on Spices”
Gary Acuff, PhD, Texas A & M University
“Correlation of Surrogate Bacteria and Salmonellae for Validation of Spice/Herb Pathogen Reduction Processes”
The spices and seasoning category is among the top three categories in Reportable Food Registry submissions for Salmonella in human foods over past years. In addition, most spices consumed in the US are imported from foreign suppliers that often lack the regulations or expertise to ensure the reduction of Salmonella to safe levels. The Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is therefore driving the research to establish standardized inoculation protocols and to validate surrogate organisms for industrial-scale spice treatments. The American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) is providing an unrestricted grant to ILSI North America to help support the funding of the research projects.

The research endeavor by the Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is  recognized in an article on the August 2013 issue of Food Technology Magazine.
Research Grant Cycle 2012-2014
Trevor Suslow, PhD, University of California, Davis
“On Farm Evaluation of the Prevalence of Human Enteric Bacterial Pathogens during the Production of Melons in California and Arizona”
Sanghyup Jeong, PhD, Michigan State University
“Using high-frequency nano-amplitude mechanical vibration for preventing and reducing Salmonella attachment on dry surfaces”
Stephen Grove, PhD, Institute for Food Safety and Health at Illinois Institute of Technology
“Best practices for cleaning and sanitizing nut butter processing equipment”



The ILSI North America Reference Strain Collection: Expansion to Salmonella Is​olates
Established in 2001 for Listeria monocytogenes isolates and housed at Cornell University, the ILSI North America Reference Strain Collection was expanded in 2006 to include the strain set and subtyping data that emerged from the committee’s Enterobacter (now Cronobacter) sakazakii. In 2008, the strain collection was expanded again to include the strains set of Salmonella resulting from the Salmonella low-moisture projects. Isolates from the collection are distributed for a minimal charge to researchers around the world. This unique resource provides investigators with a standard set of isolates that improves comparison of study data. The Committee on Food Microbiology continues to support the expansion of the strain collection to include Salmonella isolates. To access information on reference strain collections, click here​.
To access links to resulting publications generated by funding from the Committee on Food Microbiology prior to 2008, click here.


Cargill, Incorporated
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
DuPont Nutrition & Health
General Mills, Inc.
Kellogg Company
Kraft Heinz Company
Mars, Incorporated
Mondelēz International
Nestlé USA
PepsiCo, Inc.
Starbucks Coffee Company
Bradley Marks, PhD
Michigan State University
Kendra Knightingale, PhD
Texas Tech University
Peter Gerner-Smidt, MD, PhD.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 Mickey Parish, PhD.
Office of Food Safety

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Isabel Walls, PhD
United States Dept. of Agriculture
National Instiute of Food and Agriculture
Alison Kretser, MS, RD
Director, Science Programs
ILSI North America
1156 15th Street, NW 
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202.659.0074
Fax: 202.659.3859