Stacey Garcia, Ph.D.

Recent Posts

Tackling Listeria monocytogenes: Why it is in the news…

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Jul 13, 2015 3:32:35 PM

Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most virulent food-borne pathogens with 20-30% of clinical infections resulting in death1. It can grow in the cold temperature of the refrigerator, and it does not discriminate, as it’s been implicated in produce, dairy, ready-to-eat meats, and even frozen foods. L. monocytogenes outbreaks are challenging to trace back to the source because listeriosis symptoms can take up to 70 days to appear.

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Falcons, Surrogates, and More at the Produce Research Symposium

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Jul 7, 2015 10:00:19 AM

Last month, manufacturers, researchers, and government representatives gathered in Atlanta, Georgia for the annual Produce Research Symposium held by UC Davis’s Center for Produce Safety. The symposium was informative and action-packed, addressing a broad variety of topics that are critical to produce safety.

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Today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Jun 17, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and June 17th is National Eat Your Vegetables Day1? Fruits and vegetables are the perfect companion for other well-known June activities of BBQs, picnics, and other food-focused fun. 

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Traceability: A Critical Aspect of Supply Chain Management and Food Safety

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Apr 20, 2015 4:27:00 PM

In an article published recently in Food Safety Magazine, William Fisher, VP of the Institute of Food Technologists, discusses the importance of food traceability in the wake of increasingly complex supply chains and heightened consumer awareness (you can read the article here). Fisher explains the role of traceability in emergency planning and discusses the key stakeholders involved in preventing foodborne illness.

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Beef Industry Safety Summit

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Mar 9, 2015 9:49:38 AM

This week, Roka attended the Beef Industry Safety Summit in Dallas, TX.  The summit is a joint effort of BIFSCo and the Beef Checkoff. The summit was well-attended despite the less-than-ideal travel situation (ice and snow throughout the US, including in Dallas!). There were lots of interesting topics, including regulatory updates, a GFSI overview, and breakout sessions to brainstorm how the industry can continue to improve their food safety systems.

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50s and Fun at Southern Exposure, the premier produce industry event

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Mar 3, 2015 12:06:09 PM

This past week, Roka had a great time at the Southeast Produce Council’s annual Southern Exposure located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. The 50s-themed event was certainly very fun and offered lots of networking opportunities for growers and retailers alike. One of the highlights of the show included the fantastic Opening Gala complete with fair games and vintage cars.

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3D Printing of Food and other Interesting Topics at the Inaugural Food Systems Global Summit

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Dec 10, 2014 2:14:00 PM
Monday, Cornell hosted the first ever Institute for Food Systems Global Summit. The focus of the event was Public-Private Partnerships to Enhance Food Systems. Food and beverage processors, members of academia, and other members of the food industry enjoyed thought-provoking discussion, demonstrations of new technology, and networking with fellow colleagues.
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Why is New Jersey called the Garden State?

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Nov 11, 2014 11:11:39 AM

While sitting at a red light yesterday, my mind wandered, and became philosophical about the New Jersey license plate on the car in front of me. On the top of the license is a proud declaration of our state “New Jersey” and on the bottom of the license plate is New Jersey’s nickname “Garden State.” Admittedly, I was born and raised in New Jersey and have spent a majority of my life here, but have never given too much thought to the nickname. A quick internet search will tell you that New Jersey got its nickname from Abraham Browning in 1876. In 1954, the nickname was added to license plates and has been a staple ever since. The nickname might have been appropriate in 1876, but does New Jersey live up to its nickname today? Certainly there are other states in the US that would be well-suited to have the same nickname. As it turns out, food and agriculture is New Jersey’s third largest industry.New Jersey contains more than 9,700 farms covering more than 715,000 acres of land. That’s pretty impressive considering New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state in the US (we are small but mighty!). New Jersey farmers produce more than 100 different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and New Jersey is ranked third in cranberry and spinach production in the country.

Even the New Jersey state flag and seal depict Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, holding a cornucopia in her left hand. But you don’t have to do internet research to find out that New Jersey is passionate about their agriculture industry. I recently attended a networking event hosted by the New Jersey Food Processors Association and met several people with different backgrounds and interests, but one thing in common, a dedication to the food industry and food safety. As it turns out, I don’t have to go far beyond my own backyard to learn about the impact agriculture has on New Jersey’s economy, culture, and rich history.

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Food Safety Technology: Why Applications Support is Critical for Successful Adoption of New Methods

Posted by Stacey Garcia, Ph.D. on Sep 11, 2014 10:04:00 AM

Recently a friend showed me his brand new car, complete with all the bells and whistles. As we tested out the heated seats and push button start, he explained that the dealership was offering free training sessions to learn how to utilize all of the car’s features. The concept of being trained on how to run a car was foreign to me. My friend has been driving for years; he certainly doesn’t need a training session to show him how to get to the bank. But after some thought, I realized that these training sessions help a new owner achieve two fundamental goals: (1) to adapt to the change associated with driving a new car and (2) to understand how to use the features of the product to enjoy the most benefit.

In fact, this training and applications support model is well established in other industries that utilize increasingly advanced technology. It seems as though every mall in America has an Apple store, complete with experts waiting to help you best utilize your new laptop, iPad, or iPhone. Food safety is another industry that can benefit from well-developed training and applications support, as it increasingly adopts more advanced technology.

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