Rachel works on the Voluntary Shelf Life project. Samples from across the state are collected and analyzed for sensory and microbial values throughout the course of their shelf life. That information is then given back to the plants to help them improve their processing techniques and work towards improving the quality of milk in NY.
Sophia's project evaluates produce-relevant pathogens as well as surrogates, indicators, and index strains for different phenotypic characteristics to help with selection of strains and growth conditions for challenge studies and evaluation of interventions.
Jingqiu's research focuses on the population genetics of foodborne pathogens using whole genome sequencing, and the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms shaping the biogeography of foodborne pathogens.
Tim is investigating the effectiveness of on-farm interventions for reducing spore forming bacteria in bulk tank raw milk. He is also evaluating the efficacy of different pasteurization parameters and storage temperatures for extending the shelf-life of fluid milk in absence of post-pasteurization contamination.
Sarah is currently working on a collaborative project investigating the relationship between farm bedding management practices and the presence of meso- and thermophilic spore formers in raw milk. She is also involved in the VSL program.
Sam is working with New York State dairy plants to detect and characterize the bacteria in their milk responsible for post-pasteurization contamination and spoilage. His project's goal is to implement corrective actions at the plant level that will improve the quality and shelf-life of fluid milk by reducing the instance of post-pasteurization contamination.