Head, Department of Food Quality & Safety
Other specialities: Biofilms in the Food-Industry, Desiccation toelrance, Persistence in Agro-Food environment, Alternative anti-Salmonella approaches, Bacterial genetics
Food-borne diseases have a major health, social, economic and industrial impact in our world. Industrialization and globalization of the food supply, increased travel and increased consumption of centrally prepared partially processed food together with a demographic change resulting from the increase in the population proportion that exhibits increased susceptibility to pathogens, have elevated the risk of exposure to foodborne pathogens. The elimination of bacterial contamination along the food-chain is a major benefit to society. Since, bacterial contamination may occur throughout the food production-chain' from farm-to-table, intervention and control strategies required the understanding of the specific interactions between each foodborne pathogen and its ecologic agro-niche.
Our laboratory is interested in understanding how foodborne pathogens (mainly, Salmonella) survive in the agricultural and food-industry environments in order to design science-based approaches to prevent bacterial contamination, and/or to increase decontamination efficiency. We are employing modern genetic, genomic and proteomic approaches to identify genes involved in pathogen-plant interactions, as well as genes required for bacterial tolerance to environmental stresses.