Dr. Parraga received her Ph.D. in Food Science from Louisiana State University in August of 2021. She holds a master’s degree in Food Science focused on Food Microbiology from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School in Honduras. Since 2013, Dr. Parraga has been involved in the area of food quality, safety, and security. Her activities include domestic and international industry interactions organizing and assisting with providing trainings, workshops, and technical guidance to ensure workforce development and proper understanding and application of food safety and best quality in food products. She has six years of experience working with the food industry, where most of her work has been in the areas of regulatory compliance and food safety. Dr. Parraga has participated as an instructor in the Sanitation control procedures of fish and fishery products and Basic seafood HACCP courses. In addition to her experience, she has eleven food safety and processing certifications.
She joined the faculty at Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center and Virginia Tech Department of Food Science and Technology in September of 2021. Her extension work focuses on improving the understanding and application of food safety research through education, training, and technical guidance for the production of safe and quality foods. In addition, she is an active member of the International Association of Food Protection, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society, and Phi Tau Sigma Honor Society. Currently, she is the liaison of the Seafood PDG for the International Association of Food Protection.
- Ph.D., Food Science, Louisiana State University, 2021
- M.S., Food Science, Louisiana State University, 2016
- B.S., Food Science and Technology, Zamorano University – Honduras, 2013
2021-Present: Extension Specialist – Muscle Food Safety, Virginia Tech, Virginia Seafood AREC, Hampton, VA
2017-2021: Graduate Research Assistant – Seafood Food Safety Laboratory, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
2014-2016: Graduate Research Assistant – Food Microbiology Laboratory, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Honors and Awards
Tom W. Dutton Scholarship Award – Louisiana State University, 2020.
Robert Grodner Scholarship – School of Nutrition and Food Sciences. 2019.
Zamorano Agricultural Society 2018-2019 LSU Chapter Outstanding Award. 2018.
Food Marketing Institute Foundation & Safe Quality Food Institute Scholarship. 2018.
Graduate Student Travel Award. 2016.
Honorific Thesis Award - Pan-American Agricultural School – Zamorano. 2013.
- Food safety of muscle products, with a main focus on seafood.
- Work on enhancing retail store food safety, developing and disseminating educational programs to improve and promote food safety in the seafood industry.
- Work on the enhancement of food safety knowledge and communication for the Hispanic food industry workforce.
- Identify the necessities for the food safety sector and food processing and develop and disseminate publications and training materials in English and Spanish versions.
- Develop food safety training materials to assist agents with program dissemination and implementation.
- Industry assistance with sanitation programs, good manufacturing practices, and HACCP plans.
- Industry assistance to determine the effectiveness of their food safety programs and help them to comply with regulations.
Trainings provided at the Virginia Seafood AREC: HACCP for seafood, meat, and poultry industry, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Sanitation Control Procedures for the seafood industry in both English and Spanish languages.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications
Parraga Katheryn, Silvia Murillo, Cesar Escalante, and Evelyn Watts. 2021. Effect of Federal Inspection on Louisiana Wild-Caught Catfish Industry, Prevalence of Salmonella and Microbial Characteristics of Raw Wild-Caught Catfish Fillets. Journal of Food Protection, DOI: 10.4315/JFP-21-153.
Adhikari A., Parraga Estrada K., Chhetri V., Janes M., Fontenot K., and Beaulieu J., 2020. “Evaluation of Ultraviolet (UV-C) Light Treatment for Microbial Inactivation in Agricultural Waters with different levels of Turbidity.” Food Science & Nutrition, DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.1412.
Castro M., Cobar J., Parraga-Estrada K., Alonso J., and Watts E. 2020. “Black Drum (Pogonias cromis) Shelf Life Comparing Three Packaging Technologies.” Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology, DOI: 10.1080/10498850.2020.1818154.
Chhetri, V.S., Fontenot, K., Strahan, R., Yemmireddy, V.K., Parraga Estrada, K.J. & Adhikari, A. 2018. Effect of surrounding vegetation on microbial survival or die-off on watermelon surface in an agriculture setting. Journal of Food Safety, DOI: 10.1111/jfs.12520.
Respuesta a Emergencia de Salud Pública para Procesadores de Pescado y Mariscos durante COVID-19 (Spanish for Public Health Emergency Response for Seafood Processing Plants During COVID-19). Seafood Facts -Louisiana Direct Seafood. 2020. Content translator. Fact sheet Online: https://www.lafisheriesforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID_SeafoodProcessingPlants_Spanish_access.pdf
Seguridad e Información de la Pesca durante emergencias de salud pública (Spanish for Fishing Safety & Information During Public Health Emergency). Louisiana Fisheries Forward. 2020. Content translator. Fact sheet Online: https://www.lafisheriesforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID_19-Fisherman-Fast-Fact_Spanish_access.pdf
Paremos el COVID-19: Nuestra Salud está en Nuestras Manos (Spanish for COVID-19 Information Posters for Customers and Employees). LSU AgCenter and LA Sea Grant. 2020. Content translator. Poster Series Online: https://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/aiverson/articles/page1585669569266
Entrega de comida y pedidos a domicilio durante una Emergencia de Salud Pública (Spanish for Food Takeout and Delivery During a Public Health Emergency). LSU AgCenter and LA Sea Grant. 2020. Content translator. Fact sheet Online: https://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/aiverson/articles/page1585671554355
Respuesta a Emergencia de Salud Pública para Gerentes de Tiendas Minoristas (Spanish for Public Health Emergency Response for Retail Store Managers). LSU AgCenter and LA Sea Grant. 2020. Content translator. Fact sheet Online: https://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/aiverson/articles/page1585670645370
Exclusión de Plagas (Spanish for Exclusion of Pests). Louisiana Direct Seafood. May 5, 2020. Content Translator. Online: https://louisianadirectseafood.com/seafood-academy/good-manufacturing-practices-espanol/
Protección Contra Adulterantes/Almacenamiento de Compuestos Tóxicos (Spanish for Adulterant Protection/Toxic Compound Handling). Louisiana Direct Seafood. May 5, 2020. Content Translator. Online: https://louisianadirectseafood.com/seafood-academy/good-manufacturing-practices-espanol/
Salud del Empleado y Saneamiento (Spanish for Employee Health & Sanitation). Louisiana Direct Seafood. May 5, 2020. Content Translator. Online: https://louisianadirectseafood.com/seafood-academy/good-manufacturing-practices-espanol/
Prevención de Contaminación Cruzada (Spanish for Prevention of Cross-contamination). Louisiana Direct Seafood. May 5, 2020. Content Translator. Online: https://louisianadirectseafood.com/seafood-academy/good-manufacturing-practices-espanol/
Limpieza de Superficies en Contacto con Alimentos (Spanish Clean Contact Surfaces). Louisiana Direct Seafood. May 5, 2020. Content Translator. Online: https://louisianadirectseafood.com/seafood-academy/good-manufacturing-practices-espanol/
Inocuidad del Agua (Spanish for Safety of Water). Louisiana Direct Seafood. May 5, 2020. Content Translator. Online: https://louisianadirectseafood.com/seafood-academy/good-manufacturing-practices-espanol/
Trade Magazine Publications
Watts, E. & Parraga, K. 2019. Making Sense of USDA Siluriformes Inspection. Aquaculture Magazine, April–May 2019 45(2): 49-61. Online: https://www.lsu.edu/departments/nfs/Seafood-Quality/documents/catfish/Post-harvest-AQM_45-2%20 Making%20sense%20of%20USDA%20Siluriformes%20Inspection.pdf