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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research Unit

Lihan Huang, Research Leader
Rosemary Martinjuk, Program Support Assistant
Voice:  (215) 233-6620
Fax:  (215) 233-6581

In the Spotlight


2013 GMA Food Safety Award


Supervisory Microbiologist, Vijay K. Juneja, ARS Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research Unit, Wyndmoor, PA, was the recipient of the International Association for Food Protection’s “2013 GMA Food Safety Award”, sponsored by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Juneja will be honored for his outstanding contributions to food safety research and educational activities in food protection offered to the food industry. A leading authority on food safety research, Juneja has developed a nationally and internationally recognized research program on foodborne pathogens, with emphasis on microbiological safety of minimally processed foods and predictive microbiology. He frequently organizes educational workshops on microbial modeling, specifically on the use and interpretation of the ARS Pathogen Modeling Program. The award will be presented during the 2013 International Association of Food Protection Annual Meeting, July 28-31, Charlotte, NC.


Congratulations Dr. Juneja!




Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology



Supervisory Microbiologist Vijay K. Juneja, ARS Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research Unit, Wyndmoor, PA, has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, for his significant contributions to multiple areas within the broad discipline of food safety microbiology, including a series of ground breaking publications on microbiological safety of minimally processed foods and predictive microbiology. Academy Fellows are eminent leaders in the field of microbiology and are relied upon for authoritative advice and information on critical issues in microbiology. Dr. Juneja will be recognized at the 113th American Society for Microbiology General Meeting on May 21 in Denver, CO.


Congratulations Dr. Juneja!



ARS Scientific Mentoring Wins Two Awards!


ARS scientific mentoring wins multiple awards, as demonstrated by mentee Soumi Ray, graduate student at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Resesarch Scientist Tony Jin, ARS Residue Chemistry and Microbiological Predictive Research Unit, Wyndmoor, PA, guided Soumi Ray on her research developing a self-generating chlorine dioxide packaging material. Reactants sodium chlorite and citric acid were incorporated into polyactic acid (PLA) films to release chlorine dioxide into package to guard foods against foodborne pathogens as well as spoilage microflora. Her innovative, pioneering work garnered her the First Place (plague and $1,000 cash) in Graduate Student Research Paper Competition in the 2012 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting held in Las Vegas, June 2012. She is one of 19 winners from 625 papers submitted for the competition. As an accolade to her cutting edge research on chlorine dioxide releasing packaging system which has a potential to improve world's food supply by minimizing food loss and therefore combating world hunger, she also won 2011 Daun Family Endowed Graduate Student Prize (certificate and $1,000 cash) from the Department of Food Science, Rutgers University. Soumi Ray is a graduate student under supervision of Professor Kit Yam, Rutgers University. She has been working with Dr. Tony Jin and other research scientist (Drs. Xuetong Fan and LinShu Liu) in ARS, developing this novel antimicrobial food packaging system for the last almost 2 years. Soumi remarks, "I am greatly honored for being recipients of these awards. Above all, the knowledge and experience gained while working with ARS scientists is priceless." She expressed sincere thanks and gratitude for Dr. Jin and other ARS scientists for their guidance.



Most-Cited Paper of 2009


The Institute of Food Technologist proudly presents to author Tony Jin, ERRC, recongition of the most-cited paper of 2009 published in the Food Microbiology and Safety section of the Journal of Food Science. "Antimicrobial Efficacy of Zinc Oxide Quantum Dots against Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteritidis, and Escherichia coli O157:H7"


Congratulations to Dr. Jin!



2012 NSF Food Safety Leadership and IFT R&D Award


On June 25, Vijay K. Juneja received the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2012 Research and Development Award for contributions to the understanding of food science, technology and nutrition. On April 18th he also became the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Food Safety Leadership Award recognizing individuals and organizations in the food service industry for their advancement in food safety. Dr. Juneja's research focuses on interventions to reduce/eliminate pathogens in foods of animal origin, and develop strategies to perform risk assessment on cooked foods.

Congratulations to Dr. Juneja!



The First AGRO Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture


Dr. Steve Lehotay has been honored with the American Chemical Society's Division of Agrochemicals 2012 Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture, sponsored by BASF. Dr. Lehotay is the first recipient of this new award. The main accomplishment cited is the co-development and technology transfer of the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method for analysis of pesticide residues in foods. QuEChERS products have been commercialized by more than a dozen vendors, and the method has become the primary approach worldwide for pesticide residue monitoring of foods, among other expanding applications. The practical benefits, wide scope, and high quality of results with QuEChERS contributes to improved food safety, particularly for imported foods, and better monitoring causes more farmers to follow good agricultural practices, which also reduces pesticide contamination of the environment.


Congratulations to Steve! And thank you to BASF for sponsoring this new award.



Annual Recognition Program and Award Recipients


Superior Efforts Awards

Food Safety Team for developing, implementing, and expanding the USDA Pathogen Modeling Program, Predictive Microbiology Information Portal to enhance food safety of the Nation's food supply. The team includes Vijay Juneja, Cheng-An Hwang, Lihan Huang, Tom Oscar, and Shiowshuh Sheen, North Atlantic Area, Wyndmoor, PA.



A funny thing happened on the way to Mr. Whopping Big Burger


If your favorite triple-decker-burger used to be a diary cow, you'll be glad to know that chemist Marilyn Schneider at our ARS Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research Unit in Wyndmoor, Pa., has been studying drug residues in a variety of muscle sites within culled diary cows, especially the distribution of penicillin G, and her findings could help regulatory agencies make sure your burger isn't hiding any drug-related "secret ingredients." (4/20)




Winner of the 2011 Harvey W. Wiley Award


Steven Lehotay

Research Chemist Steven Lehotay, with the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center's Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research Unit, in Wyndmoor, PA, will receive the 2011 Harvey W. Wiley Award from AOAC International at their annual meeting being held on September 18-21, 2011, in New Orleans, LA.  Lehotay is being honored for his accomplishments to improve the analysis of chemical residues in foods, including developing the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) method for pesticide residue monitoring.


Congratulations Steve!



In-Demand Fish:  Making Sure They're Always Safe to Eat



Food technologist Andy Hwang and technician Stacy Raleigh study the effect of smoking temperature on survival of Listeria monocytogenes on smoked salmon.


Popular fish like salmon, catfish, and tilapia are coming under the close scrutiny of Agricultural Research Service food-safety scientists Andy Hwang and Kathleen Rajkowski. They’re discovering more about how to prevent foodborne pathogens from contaminating these and other delicious, good-for-you seafood. Both scientists are based at the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania.


Click here to read all about it in the October 2010 Agricultural Research Magazine!


Turning our Scientific Dreams into Real-World Realities

Two ARS scientists and their research partner are being recognized for technology transfer to countless laboratories worldwide that use the QuEChERS-Quick, Easy Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe-approach to monitor pesticides and other residues in foods.  This team includes Steven Lehotay and Katerina Mastovskia, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA; and Michelangelo Anastassiades, Stuttgart, Germany.


Science Update:  Food Safety Help for Processors

A new Internet resource could be invaluable to food processors—especially, to smaller meat and poultry processing companies. The information it provides can answer food safety questions and help food processors make science-based decisions to produce safe and wholesome products for consumers. Called the Predictive Microbiology Information Portal, or PMIP, it offers information on research, regulations, and resources related to Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. Soon it will be expanded to include other pathogen and food combinations. To help ensure the safety of food processing methods, a searchable database allows users to find information that can be used to develop plans for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point inspection.

Developed in collaboration with Rutgers University and Decisionalysis Risk Consultants, Inc., of Ottawa, Ontario, the portal includes a tutorial with instructions on using and interpreting predictive models. It links to the ARS Pathogen Modeling Program and ComBase, which provide diverse resources associated with databases, regulatory requirements, and food safety principles. The PMIP Web address is

Vijay K. Juneja, USDA-ARS Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania; phone (215) 233-6500.


USDA Web Portal Offers Big Food Safety Benefits for Small Food Processors

by Laura McGinnis
September 19, 2007
Electron micrograph of a Listeria bacterium in tissue.
Electron micrograph of a Listeria monocytogenes bacterium in tissue.  The new web portal will help food processors protect food from Listeria and Similar pathogens.  Image courtesy Public Health Image Library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

WASHINGTON, September 19, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled a new Internet resource to help small companies answer food safety questions and help food processors make science-based food production decisions.  The Internet portal, available at, is one of the most comprehensive decision support tools available. 

Read more about this topic.


Last Modified: 4/12/2013