Dr. Jeff Kornacki is an industrial forensic food microbiologist. He has assisted and continues to assist many companies during environmental and product contamination concerns including FDA and USDA recalls and has made well over 850 troubleshooting related plant visits across a vast assortment of food processing industries in his career. He is an active member of IAFP. He received the IAFP Sanitarian award in 2010. He also became an IAFP Fellow in 2017.

He has published on a wide variety of food microbiology topics and is Editor/Co-Editor and Co-author of several books including “Principles of Microbiological Troubleshooting in the Industrial Food Processing Environment” (Springer, 2010), “The Microbiological Safety of Low Water Activity Foods and Spices” (Springer, 2014) and “Foodborne Pathogens: Virulence Factors and Host Susceptibility” (Springer, 2017). He was Co-Chairman of the NACMCF subcommittee on Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary conditions from 2013 to 2015 and is Co-Editor & Chief of the 18th edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products, expected in early 2022. He is also co-writing and co-editing a book entitled, Principles of Hygienic Design for Ensuring Food Safety.

Jeff obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Jeff about:

  • Common misperceptions about food microbiology
  • Why zero risk doesn’t exist
  • Examples of how Listeria works the system
  • Thermal processing is not absolute
  • Finished product testing
  • The timing of sampling
  • Limits of environmental monitoring
  • Myths about clean-in-place systems
  • Why audits don’t tell the whole story
  • Understanding cleaning chemicals
  • Looking more closely at shoes in the plant
  • What visually clean does and doesn’t mean
  • Rethinking the order of cleaning
  • Surprising areas of contamination
  • How equipment design factors in
  • Understanding the microbial ecology of your plant
  • Understanding the risks to your product

Sponsored by:


Michigan State University Online Food Safety Program 

Online MS in Food Safety Program

Curriculum: Online MS in Food Safety Program

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