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Elliot Ryser - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Elliot Ryser

Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition | Michigan State University


An internationally recognized authority on Listeria and other disease-causing bacteria in food, focusing on microbial food safety






MSUToday: E.coli and lettuce contamination



While attending the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Elliot Ryser took his first food microbiology course with Dr. Robert Deibel. This encounter led him to further pursue a career in food safety under the direction of Dr. Elmer H. Marth, focusing on the then newly identified foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Now as a professor at Michigan State University, the transfer of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during production of fresh-cut leafy greens recently sparked his interest and has led to his current research for CPS quantifying the impact of organic load and the efficacy of chlorine-based sanitizers against E. coli O157:H7. CPS staffer Connie Arana spoke with Dr. Ryser about his career path and his current research at CPS.

Industry Expertise (7)


Food Processing

Writing and Editing



Food Distribution

Food Production

Areas of Expertise (8)

Dairy Products

Meat and Poultry Including Deli Meat

Microbial Food Safety

E. Coli



Fresh-cut Produce

Low Moisture Foods

News (1)

Experts say you should never thaw your frozen turkey by leaving it out on the counter

MSN  online


Buying a turkey for Thanksgiving is just the first of many steps to putting that bird on the table. Perhaps the most challenging part? If you bought your turkey early or frozen, you have to figure out how to thaw the thing. Thawing the turkey is a crucial part of the overall cooking process, because it needs to be done safely. Along with undercooking the bird, handling turkey incorrectly is one of the most common problems that leads to foodborne disease linked to poultry, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Is it safe to thaw a turkey in a cooler? This one is debatable. “It depends on the temperature of the bird—you want it to stay cool,” says Eliot Ryser, a food safety expert and professor at Michigan State University. While you could go this route if you can continue to keep the turkey cold, “the refrigerator is better for defrosting,” Ryser says.

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