Since 2012, the Waite-Cusic food microbiology lab has worked with many food companies to evaluate how effective their kill step is in creating a safe product. Our lab focuses on performing process validations for these companies to ensure that their products meet regulatory standards for pathogen reductions. By replicating the company’s processing parameters, we can quantify the pathogen reduction and analyze the data to give an accurate report to support the company’s food safety plan. Our team is dedicated to obtaining reliable and accurate data and to always increase our knowledge of food safety.


To help food companies reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens in their products to ensure our food is safe.

Examples of Processes We Can Perform:

  • Convection heating
  • Dehydrating
  • Blanching
  • Shelf life
  • Baking
  • Roasting
  • Steam treatment

Previous Process Validations:

  • Salami fermentation and drying
  • Roasting hazelnuts
  • “Sprouted” nuts and seeds
  • Dehydrating blueberries and apples
  • Blanching pili nuts
  • Deli ham shelf life
  • Steam treatment on raw chicken dog treats

Previous Process Validation Publications:

  • Minarsich, J., Wright, D., Emch, A., & Waite-Cusic, J. (2018). Adjusting Processing Parameters in an Entry-Level Commercial Dehydrator To Achieve a 5-Log Reduction of Salmonella during the Cooking Step. Journal of Food Protection, 81(3), 348–356.
  • Pearson, E. H., Jones, J., & Waite-Cusic, J. G. (2018). Evaluation of Peroxyacetic Acid for Reducing Low Levels of Salmonella on Laboratory-Inoculated and Naturally Contaminated In-Shell Hazelnuts. Journal of Food Protection, 81(2), 254–260.
  • Wright, D. G., Minarsich, J., Daeschel, M. A., & Waite‐Cusic, J. (2017). Thermal inactivation of Salmonella spp. in commercial tree nut and peanut butters in finished packaging. Journal of Food Safety, 38(1), e12371.
  • Lowder, A. C., Waite-Cusic, J. G., & Mireles DeWitt, C. A. (2014). High pressure–low temperature processing of beef: Effects on survival of internalized E. coli O157:H7 and quality characteristics. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 26, 18–25.
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