Virginia Tech®home

Joseph D. Eifert

Dr. Joseph D. Eifert
401-B HABB1 (0924)
1230 Washington Street SW
Blacksburg, VA 24061


  • Ph.D., Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, 1994

  • M.S., Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, 1991

  • B.S., Biology, Loyola Marymount University, 1980

Employment History

2017 – Present:  Professor and Graduate Program Director, Virginia Tech; Blacksburg, VA

2004 - 2017:  Associate Professor & Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech; Blacksburg, VA

1998 - 2004:  Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech; Blacksburg, VA

1996 - 1997:  Manager of Microbiology, Nestlé USA, Dublin, OH

1989 - 1994:  Graduate Teaching Assistant, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

1983 - 1989:  Chemist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Los Angeles, CA

Current Teaching Responsibilities

  • Global Food Laws and Regulations (graduate, 3 credits), biannually, 2000-present

  • Food Animal Product Safety for Veterinarians (graduate, 2 credits), annually, 2008-present

  • Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation (graduate, 3 credits), biannually, 2007-present

  • Food, War and Conflict (undergraduate, 3 credits), annually, 2015-present

  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance (undergraduate, 3 credits), annually, 2017-present


My primary research emphasis is the microbiology of food surfaces and food contact surfaces which includes the study of ways to reduce pathogens on food surfaces and optimizing the quantitative recovery of pathogenic microorganisms from foods, food contact surfaces, and food processing environments.  Another goal of my research program is to improve the microbiological quality and shelf life of raw and ready-to-eat foods through design of optimum microbiological sampling techniques and sampling plans. 

Recent or current research projects include:

  • reducing the transmission of Campylobacter during poultry processing

  • recovery and transfer of aerosolized Listeria innocua

  • efficacy of cavitation bubbles for removal and inactivation of Salmonella and Listeria from the surface of raw produce

  • optimizing environmental sampling plans for food processors

  • development of food safety educational materials for Spanish-speaking workers, in processed or retail food industries, that emphasize graphic symbols or pictures

  • quantitative microbial risk assessment models to estimate exposure to Campylobacter or Salmonella from consumption of chicken in the United States

Completed theses and dissertations directed or co-advised since 2010:


Reinhard, Robert. “Application of bacteriophage in food manufacturing facilities for the control of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria spp.” (Dec., 2019)

Masri, Hassan. “Evaluating post-harvest practices on the quality and safety of Kona coffee” (May 2019)

Galagarza, Óscar. “Establishment and Utilization of Tools for Enhancing Foodfish Health” (Dec., 2017) co-advised

Waldron, Calvin. “Recovery and transport of aerosolized Listeria innocua” (July, 2017)

Schroeder, Matthew. “Evaluation of an innovative, employee-driven sign on hand washing behavior changes using video observation” (Oct., 2015)

Wu, Jian. “Inhibiting Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Morganella morganii with aqueous methanol extracts of Punica granatum and Galla chinensis” (Oct., 2014) co-advised

Al-Shuniaber, Mohammad. “Risk analysis based on performance criteria: a food safety control system and decision-making tool to control Salmonella from whole broilers” (July, 2014)

Saucedo Alderete, Raúl. “Post-harvest spray treatments to reduce Salmonella contamination on cantaloupe surfaces” (Aug., 2013)

Concha-Meyer, Aníbal.  “Survival of Listeria monocytogenes on blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) and shelf life determination under controlled atmosphere storage” (July, 2013)


Lee, Joshua. “The effects of cavitation on the removal and inactivation of Listeria and Salmonella on the surface of fresh roma tomatoes and cantaloupes” (Dec., 2016)                    

Masri, Hassan. “Optimizing sample plans to improve microbiological safety in a food processing plant” (May, 2013)    

Waldron, Calvin. “Efficacy of delmopinol in preventing the attachment of Campylobacter jejuni to chicken, stainless steel and high-density polyethylene” (Apr., 2013)

Schroeder, Matthew. “Association of Campylobacter spp. levels between chicken grow-out environmental samples and processed carcasses” (Apr., 2012)

Johnson, Anjeanette. “Airborne Campylobacter spp. in a poultry processing plant” (Apr., 2010)

Peer-reviewed Publications since 2015:

Reinhard, R.G., Kalinowski, R., Bodnaruk, P., Eifert, J., Boyer, R., Duncan, S. and Bailey, R.H.  2020. Fate of Listeria on various food contact and non-contact surfaces when treated with bacteriophage.  Journal of Food Safety, e12775.

Brown, E., Dhanireddy, K., Waldron, C., Teska, P., Eifert, J. and Boyer, R. 2020. Influence of drying time on pre-wetted disinfectant towelettes to disinfect glass surfaces. American Journal of Infection Control (accepted)

Esmaili, E., Shukla, P., Eifert, J.D. and Jung, S. 2019. Bubble impact on a tilted wall: Removing bacteria using bubbles. Physical Review Fluids, 4, 043603.

Brown, E., Dhanireddy, K., Waldron, C., Teska, P., Eifert, J. and Boyer, R. 2019. Evaluation of disinfectants and wiping substrates combinations to inactivate Staphylococcus aureus on Formica coupons. American Journal of Infection Control, 47(4):465-467.

Lee, J.J., Eifert, J.D., Jung, S., and Strawn, L. 2018. Cavitation bubble applications for removal and inactivation of Listeria and Salmonella from the surface of raw roma tomatoes and cantaloupes. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Agro-Food Safety, 2(61): 1-11.  doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2018.00061

Galagarza, O.A., Smith, S.A., Drahos, D.J., Eifert, J.D., Williams, R.C. and Kuhn, D.D. 2018. Modulation of innate immunity in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) by dietary supplementation of Bacillus subtilis endospores. Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 83:171-179.

Concha-Meyer, A., Eifert, J., Wang, H. and Sanglay, G. 2018. Volume estimation of strawberries, mushrooms and tomatoes with a machine vision system. International Journal of Food Properties, 21(1):1867-1874.

Wu, J., Goodrich, K.M., Eifert, J.D., Jahncke, M.L., O’Keefe, S.F., Welbaum, G.E, and Neilson, A.P. 2018. Inhibiting food-borne pathogens Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Listeria monocytogenes using extracts from selected traditional medicine Chinese gallnut, pomegranate peel, Baikal skullcap root and forsythia fruit. Open Agriculture, 3(1):163-170.

Dev Kumar G., Williams, R.C, Sriranganathan, N., Boyer, R.R., and Eifert, J.D. 2018. Survival of tomato outbreak associated Salmonella serotypes in soil and water and the role of biofilms in abiotic surface attachment. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 15(9):548-553. (

Reinhard, R.G., Kalinowski, R.M., Bodnaruk, P.W., Eifert, J.D., Boyer, R.R., Duncan, S.E. and Bailey, R.H.  2018. Incidence of Listeria spp. in ready-to-eat food processing plant environments regulated by the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Journal of Food Protection, 81(7):1063-1067.

 Saucedo-Alderete, R.O., Eifert, J.D., Boyer, R.R., Williams, R.C., and Welbaum, G.E. 2018. Cetylpyridinium chloride direct spray treatments reduce Salmonella on cantaloupe rough surfaces. Journal of Food Safety, 38(4):8 pages.

Saucedo-Alderete, R.O., Eifert, J.D., Boyer, R.R., Williams, R.C., and Welbaum, G.E. 2017.  Delmopinol hydrochloride spray reduces Salmonella on cantaloupe surfaces. Food Science & Nutrition, 6(2):373-380.

Dev Kumar, G., Williams, R.C., Alqublan, H., Sriranganathan, N., Boyer, R., and Eifert, J. 2017. Airborne soil particulates as vehicles for Salmonella contamination of tomatoes. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 243:90-95.

Concha-Meyer, A.A., Eifert, J.D., Williams, R.C., Marcy, J.E. and Welbaum, G.E. 2016. Listeria monocytogenes survival in the presence of malic acid, lactic acid or blueberry extract. Journal of Berry Research, 7(1): 33-41.

Schroeder, M., Yang, L., Eifert, J., Boyer, R., Chase, M., and Nieto-Montenegro, S.  2016. Evaluation of how different signs affect poultry processing employees’ hand washing practices. Food Control, 68:1-6.

Schroeder, M., Galagarza, O., Eifert, J., Boyer, R., Chase, M., Nieto-Montenegro, S. 2016. Employee perceptions of food safety pictograms at meat and poultry processing plants leads to new hand washing pictogram. Food Protection Trends, 36(3):195-207.

Wu, J., Eifert, J.D., Jahncke, M.L., O’Keefe, S.F., and Welbaum, G.E. 2016. Pomegranate peel (Punica granatum L) extract and Chinese gall (Galla chinensis) extract inhibited Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Listeria monocytogenes on cooked shrimp and raw tuna. Food Control, 59:695-699.

Dev Kumar, G.; Williams, R., Sumner, S., and Eifert, J. 2016. Effect of ozone and ultraviolet light on Listeria monocytogenes populations in fresh and spent chill brines. Food Control, 59:172-177.

Concha-Meyer, A., Eifert, J., Williams, R., Marcy, J., and Welbaum, G. 2015.  Shelf life determination of fresh blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) stored under controlled atmosphere and ozone. International Journal of Food Science, vol. 2015, Article ID 164143, 9 pp. doi:10.1155/2015/164143