Food safety is an issue very relevant to health given that, according to the World Health Organization, over 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses and chemical substances.
Food safety is a good example of how the primary determinants of health often – indeed typically – lie outside the health sector. Thus, it is very important to learn about the different mechanisms of food contamination by pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. Like most things around us, not all bacteria are harmful, and some are essential parts of important food manufacturing processes, such as food fermentation. Fermentation is a natural process. In that sense, it’s always been constantly happening all around us. But when we speak of fermented foods what we’re really talking about is how humankind – for the best part of 9000 years – has taken this process and manhandled it for our own ends - to preserve foodstuffs, and create flavors. My research group investigates and models the behavior of these microorganisms in foods.
When I am not researching food safety I like watching movies, traveling, spending time with my family, and playing table tennis. I also enjoy some gardening in my backyard.
- Ph.D. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment, University of Maryland College Park
- M.S. Food Engineering, Indian Institute for Technology, Kharagpur