Food Safety as a Career

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6, or 48 million Americans, will fall ill to foodborne diseases every year leading to billions of dollars in healthcare costs as approximately 128,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 10, or 600 million people become ill from food every year, leading to an estimated 420,000 deaths, of which 125,000 are children under 5 years of age.

You can make a difference with a career in the food safety industry, while working in an exciting and flexible work environment. There are career pathways in every food commodity and every part of the food chain, from private industry to government positions, from local to global. In the Food Safety industry, there will always be a job for you!

Read about current events in Food Safety at UArizona in our latest Newsletter! You can also take a look at our archived Newsletters for news about past activities in Spring 2021,  Fall 2020 and Summer 2020.


UArizona Food Safety Program

Our Food Safety Program is one of the first of its kind, and strives to connect students with meaningful educational opportunities, including networking for internships with Academic and Industry partners.  We are expanding our classwork to include more online and distance options. Many students seek classes that are flexible and accessible around the clock, as they balance work and family. Click on the "Food Safety Program" tab above for more information on our program.

Food Safety During COVID-19

Click here for more information on keeping your food safe during these challenging times.


Research and Instructional Experience

My graduate research in Parasitology involved investigating the molecular epidemiology of Giardia lamblia in humans and dogs in a peri-urban shantytown in Lima, Peru in Dr. Chuck Sterling's laboratory in the Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology at the University of Arizona (UArizona). After obtaining my doctorate, I performed a postdoctoral fellowship (postdoc) with Dr. David Elliott in the UArizona Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy studying how the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum feeds within human red blood cells. 

My next postdoc was detecting Campylobacter jejuni through the food chain with Dr. Lynn Joens in the UArizona Department of Veterinary Sciences and Microbiology. I then went on to perform a postdoc with Dr. Maria Brandl at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA, ARS) Western Regional Research Center, Produce Safety & Microbiology Unit in Albany, CA investigating Escherichia coli O157:H7 on lettuce using RNA-seq.

Interlaced with research, I discovered great joy in teaching, both as a Teaching Assistant in graduate school, and then as an Adjunct Professor at Pima Community College (West Campus). I obtained a full-time teaching and advising position in the UArizona Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, teaching Immunology and advising Microbiology students. Prior to returning to the University of Arizona, my alma mater, I taught Microbiology at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA.