Essentials of Thermobacteriology Workshop

Glenn Black, Ph.D., director of science operations, food protection, provides leadership and direction for research and member services related to food processing and microbiological safety. He co-manages over 20 scientists and professional technical staff in the disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, processing technologies, packaging and product forensics.

Prior to joining GMA, Dr. Black held positions with the Pepsi-Cola Company, the Facility Group (food plant construction), Stork Food & Dairy Systems and Unilever (Slim Fast Foods division). He has published a number of articles in recognized food journals dealing with microbial modeling and inactivation.

Dr. Black earned his B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Engineering at Clemson University and his Ph.D. in food science from the University of Tennessee.

Richard Podolak, Ph.D., senior scientist, processing technologies, assists GMA members with thermal processing recommendations for acidified, water activity controlled food products, process cheese products, food safety and sanitation issues. Dr. Podolak is also an instructor for Better Process Control Schools, the workshop on thermobacteriology and the workshop on thermal processing of acidified foods for FDA inspectors.

Prior to joining GMA in 2004, he worked for the USDA/ARS where he was involved with researching hydrodynamic pressure processing to control pathogens in meat. Richard also served as a senior scientist at the research and development department of a food ingredient company in Wisconsin for more than five years. There he developed microbial starter cultures, antimicrobial agents for meat products and significantly reduced the cost of production through process optimization. He has published numerous articles in scientific journals on the subject of pathogenic bacteria control in food products, especially meat.

Dr. Podolak earned his Ph.D. in food science from Kansas State University.

Elena Enache, Ph.D., senior scientist, microbiology, dcience operations is responsible for proposals, design and coordination of research programs based on organizational strategic plans to support science-base regulatory policies and consumer confidence; and provide technical supports to stakeholders. The following research projects were recently finalized and the draft manuscripts are in process: “Thermal Resistance Parameters for Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Apple Juice” and “Survival of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in single strength lemon and lime juices”, as well as a collaborative study with University of Wisconsin regarding “Validation of Pepperoni Process for Control of Shiga-Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC)”. Previous research projects include survival or heat resistance studies of the vegetative pathogens or spoilage organisms in different food products.

Dr. Enache earned her Ph.D. in microbiology from the Institute of Biological Sciences – Central Institute of Biology, Bucharest, and her MS in microbiology and immunology from University of Bucharest,  Romania. She is a laureate of “Emanoil Teodorescu Prize” of the Romanian Academy for Biology (1986) (the highest scientific distinction in Romania, given once in a lifetime).

Carla Napier, laboratory technician, microbiology, works with food products and tests their integrity for industrial purposes. Ms. Napier performs testing of food on different media and records microbial information. She aspires to learn as much as possible about microbial flora, educate food and beverage companies about hazardous bacteria, and become a resource to these companies in consumer safety endeavors.

Ms. Napier earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in microbiology from George Mason University.