Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State University Experts Available to Discuss Listeria Outbreak; Tips Offered to Consumers Concerned About Cantaloupe and Melon Safety

Note to Reporters: The following tip sheet is being provided to reporters to serve as a resource for expert sources on food safety, including listeria and E. coli issues, plus tips on food safety and links to the latest on the current listeria outbreak. This tip sheet is for media use only and is not intended for publication.

The following is a list of experts who can serve as sources on food safety issues.

Listeria outbreak
Lawrence Goodridge, associate professor of food and microbiology in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, is a leading researcher in the area of food safety and food microbiology. A recent outbreak of listeria in Colorado has been traced to cantaloupe from southeastern Colorado. Goodridge has been in the region collecting samples and working with fellow scientists. His research focuses on bacteria and viruses that can cause illness by being transported through water and food. Goodridge is developing a series of rapid tests in vegetables, meats and seafood to detect these bacteria and viruses. To speak with Goodridge, contact Jim Beers at (970) 491-6401 or

Food safety microbiology, antimicrobial resistance
John Sofos is a University Distinguished Professor and an expert in food safety at CSU. He can provide background information about a variety of food safety issues. Sofos is director of the CSU Center for Meat Safety and Quality in the Department of Animal Sciences. He has specific expertise in listeria research. His research deals with a range of safety concerns related to pathogens and contaminants in the complex food system. Sofos can also address issues dealing with food microbiology, microbial food safety, ecology, detection, stress adaptation, antimicrobial resistance, and control of food borne pathogenic bacteria. To speak with Sofos, contact Jim Beers at (970) 491-6401 or

Food safety starting at the farm
Marisa Bunning, an expert in food safety in CSU’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, has a background in agronomy and food safety on the farm. A collaborator with the National Good Agricultural Practices Program and the new Produce Safety Alliance, Bunning has conducted extensive research on and can discuss good agricultural practices, safe food handling practices, food safety starting at the farm, local food production and specific tips about food safety for consumers worried about listeria. To speak with Bunning, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Organic food safety myths, farm practices
A specialist in organic vegetable production and specialty crops, Frank Stonaker can address a number of questions concerning organically grown vegetables and food safety. The specialty crops coordinator in CSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Stonaker helped develop the Rocky Mountain Small Organic Farm Project, a whole-farm systems approach in organic crop production. Stonaker also can address truths and misperceptions related to food safety specifically for organic crops and produce and practices organic farmers can use to improve food safety on the farm. To speak with Stonaker, contact Jim Beers at (970) 491-6401 or

Regional expert can discuss impacts
James Pritchett is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and an Extension specialist whose work focuses on farm, ranch and agribusiness management. Recent work has emphasized the importance of irrigated agriculture to rural communities and the connections that irrigated crops have to Colorado’s economy. He is contributing to CSU’s work on the economic impacts of the 2011 drought to southeastern Colorado. To speak with Pritchett, contact Jim Beers at (970) 491-6401 or

Media coverage of listeria outbreak
Kris Kodrich is an associate professor of journalism. He teaches advanced reporting at CSU. He has been a reporter and city editor for daily newspapers in Wisconsin and Florida. His main research interests involve Latin American news media and online news media’s role in disaster coverage and relief efforts. To speak with Kodrich, contact Tony Phifer at (970) 491-7712 or

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