Current main research areas:
Control of infectious diseases
- Antimicrobial use in food animals
- Control of COVID-19 in the food industry
Improving food safety and optimizing food production systems
- Food safety
- Decision support tools for the food industry
A new milk label was proposed, indicating the responsible (minimized) use – not complete elimination – of antibiotics on conventional dairy farms. We conducted a survey and an experimental auction with real money and real milk to investigate consumers’ preference for a hypothetical responsible antibiotic use labeled milk. Findings indicate that half of the surveyed consumers would be willing to buy the labeled milk, however, auction participants were not willing to pay a significant premium for it compared to the unlabeled (conventional) milk.
Two agent-based models of two fresh-cut produce facilities reported here demonstrate a novel way to evaluate how different sampling schemes can be rapidly evaluated across multiple time points as a way to understand how sampling can be optimized in an effort to locate the presence of Listeria in a food facility.
We developed EnABLe, a detailed and customizable agent-based simulation of a built environment and used it to trace Listeria spp. on equipment and environment surfaces in a cold-smoked salmon facility. Simulations revealed different contamination dynamics and risks among equipment surfaces in terms of the presence, level, and persistence of Listeria spp.
Examples of ongoing projects:
- Epidemiology and modeling of antimicrobial resistance in livestock
- Quantifying antimicrobial use in food animals
- Mixed methods studies of perceptions of the general public, farmers, and veterinarians about antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in food animals
- Modeling pathogen dynamics in complex, built environments (digital twins)
- Decision support tools to reduce food waste and improve food safety
- Epidemiology and modeling of infectious diseases (COVID-19, avian influenza)
- Modeling and risk assessment of human exposure to foodborne pathogens
- Intervention and experimental trials to control infectious diseases
- Digital tools for improved detection, prediction, and assessment of pathogen contamination
- Data privacy in food production and animal health