The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is continuing its Food Safety Fellow program through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education with support from the USDA’s Office of Food Safety. The FSIS has selected six fellows for fiscal year 2022.

The fellows are students currently working toward their doctoral  degrees and have an interest in improving food safety and public health. During their fellowship, in collaboration with FSIS scientists, they will apply their scientific and technical knowledge to inform FSIS decision making and improve the safety of the food supply.

The six fellows are:

Aaron Dudley, Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. Aaron’s research will improve understanding of using natural antimicrobials to reduce pathogens in chicken.

Caitlin Karolenko, Oklahoma State University. Caitlin’s study will involve validating a lethality process for biltong, a dried beef product, to determine whether the commercial process, which can involve marinating in vinegar and drying, will ensure the desired log reduction in Salmonella.

Song Kue, University of Georgia. Song’s research will facilitate the development of effective controls to reduce Salmonella in the pre-harvest environment.

Sharon Nieves-Miranda, Pennsylvania State University. Sharon’s research may lead to improved detection methods for pathogenic E. coli and facilitate epidemiological studies and outbreak investigations.

Yesutor Soku, Tuskegee University. Yesutor’s research will improve our understanding of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens from seafood and humans.

Ali Strickland, University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The results from Ali’s assessment will be used to identify meaningful pathogen enumeration thresholds and serotype characteristics to reduce the number of human cases and resulting economic burden due to ground beef consumption.

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