Francisco Diez-Gonzalez Director and Professor Center for Food Safety
Contact Information 770-228-7284
Mailing Address Griffin, CAES Campus UGA-Melton Building, 350 Woodroof Drive, Griffin, GA 30223

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Portrait of Francisco Diez-Gonzalez

Overview of Research Program

  • Safety of low water activity foods
  • Safety of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Pre-harvest ecology and control of foodborne pathogens
  • Safety of organic foods
  • Safety of dairy foods
  • Stress responses of foodborne pathogens
  • Education of food service Hispanic workers

Publications (2010 - present)

Smith CJ, Olszewska MA, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2021. Selection and application of natural antimicrobials to control Clostridium perfringens in sous-vide chicken breasts. Int J Food Microbiol. 347:109193. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2021.109193.

Lamm KW, Randall NL, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2021. Critical food safety issues facing the food industry: A Delphi Analysis. J Food Prot. 84:680-687. doi: 10.4315/JFP-20-372.

Forghani F, Li S, Zhang S, Mann DA, Deng X, den Bakker HC, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2020. Detection and serotyping of Salmonella and Escherichia coli in wheat flour by a quasi-metagenomic approach assisted by magnetic capture, multiple displacement amplification and real-time sequencing. Appl Environ Microbiol. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00097-20.

Gadotti C, Forghani F, and Diez-Gonzalez F. 2020. Evaluation of single and combined antimicrobial treatments to inhibit Salmonella in queso fresco. Food Microbiol. 85: 103286

Deen B, Diez-Gonzalez, F. 2019. Assessment of Pediococcus acidilactici ATCC 8042 as potential Salmonella surrogate for thermal treatments of toasted oats cereal and peanut butter. Food Microbiol. 83:187-192.

Forghani F, den Bakker M, Liao J-Y, Payton AS, Futral AN, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2018. Salmonella and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serogroups O45, O121, O145 in wheat flour: effects of long-term storage and thermal treatments. Front. Microbiol.

Kirkland, C, Black E, Forghani F, Pomraning A, Sadowsky MJ, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2019. Room temperature growth of Salmonella enterica serovar Saintpaul in fresh Mexican salsa. J Food Prot. 82: 102-108.

Shaughnessy, MK, Snider T, Sepulveda R, Boxrud D, Cebelinski E, Jawahir J, Holzbauer S, Johnston BD, Smith K, Bender JB, Thuras P, Diez-Gonzalez F, Johnson JR. 2018. Prevalence and molecular characteristics of Clostridium difficile in retail meats, food producing and companion animals, and humans in Minnesota. J. Food Prot. 81: 1635–1642.

Forghani F, den Bakker M, Futral AN, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2018. Long-term survival and thermal death kinetics of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coliserogroups O26, O103, O111 and O157 in wheat flour. Appl Environ Microbiol. 84. pii: e00283-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00283-18.

Foutz, C. A. S.M. Godden, J. B. Bender, F. Diez-Gonzalez, M. L. Akhtar, A. Vatulin. 2018. Exposure to antimicrobials through the milk diet or systemic therapy is associated with a transient increase in antimicrobial resistance in fecal Escherichia coli of dairy calves. J. Dairy Sci. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-14598

Maserati A, Lourenço A, Diez-Gonzalez F, and Fink RC. 2018.  iTRAQ-based global proteomic analysis of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in response to desiccation, low aw, and thermal treatment. Appl Environ Microbiol doi: 10.1128/AEM.00393-18.

Maserati A, Fink RC, Lourenco A, Julius ML, Diez-Gonzalez F. 2017 General response of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium to desiccation: a new role for the virulence factors sopD and sseD in survival. PLOS One

Tong, C., M. Scherman, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and J. D. Rossbach. 2017. Food safety risks of leafy greens from small-acreage farms in Minnesota. J. Ext. 55: 4RIB4.

Rossbach, J. D., R. C. Fink, M. J. Sadowsky, C. Tong, and F. Diez-Gonzalez, 2017. Factors Influencing the Salmonella Internalization into Seedpods and Whole Plants of Arachis hypogaea (L.). Food Microbiol. 66: 184–189.

Fink, R. C., J. M. Popowski, J. E. Anderson, J. L. Tran, S. Kalyanikutty, G. I. Crawford, A. DiCostanzo, R. B. Cox and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2017. Impact of distillers grain solids (DGS) and seasonality on the prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 at an abattoir in the U. S. Upper Midwest. J. Appl. Anim. Res. 46: 237-241.

Lourenço, A., M. B. Kamnetz, C. Gadotti, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2017. Antimicrobial treatments to control Listeria monocytogenes in queso fresco. Food Microbiol. 64: 47-55.

Akhtar, M., S. Viazis, K. Christensen, P. Kraemer, F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2017. Isolation, characterization and evaluation of virulent bacteriophages against Listeria monocytogenes Food Control. 75: 108-115.

Jaykus, L.-A., F. Diez-Gonzalez, F., K. A. Stevens, R. Gyure, R. Nobles, and T. M. Taylor. 2016. Changes in academic food safety microbiology teaching laboratories: Are we throwing the baby out with the bath water? Food Prot. Trends. 36: 62–71.

Akhtar, M., A. Maserati, F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2016. Does antibiotic resistance influence shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli O26 and O103 survival to stress environments?  Food Control 68:330-336.

Viazis S., T. P. Labuza, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2015. Bacteriophage mixture inactivation kinetics against Escherichia coli O157:H7 on hard surfaces.  J. Food Safety 35: 66-74.

Hamilton K. E., J. Umber, A. Hultberg, C. Tong, M. Schermann, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and J.B. Bender. 2015. Validation of good agricultural practices (GAP) on Minnesota vegetable farms.  Foodborne Pathog. Dis. 12:145-50.

Cherry C., A. H. Mohr, T. Lindsay, F. Diez-Gonzalez, W. Hueston, and F. Sampedro. 2014. Knowledge and perceived implementation of food safety risk analysis framework in Latin America and the Caribbean region.  J Food Prot. 77:2098-105.

Martinez-Vaz, B., R. C. Fink, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2014. Enteric pathogen-plant interactions: Molecular connections leading to colonization and growth and implications for food safety.  Microbes and Environments 29: 123-135.

Gadotti, C., L. Nelson, and F. Diez-Gonzalez 2014. Inhibitory effect of combinations of caprylic acid and nisin on Listeria monocytogenes in queso fresco.  Food Microbiol. 39:1-6.

Akhtar, M., S. Viazis, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2014. Isolation, identification and characterization of lytic, wide host range bacteriophages from waste effluents against Salmonella enterica serovars.  Food Cont. 38:67-74.

Lumor, S. E., B. D. Deen, I. Ronningen, K. Smith, N. R. Fredrickson, F. Diez-Gonzalez, T. P. Labuza. 2013. Assessment of the inhibition of ricin toxicity by lactose in milk.  J. Food Prot. 76:2037-39.

Cho, S., F. Diez-Gonzalez, C. P. Fossler, S. J. Wells, C. W. Hedberg, J. B. Kaneene, P. L. Ruegg, L. D. Warnick, and J. B. Bender. 2013. Herd-level risk factors associated with fecal shedding of Shiga toxin-encoding bacteria on dairy farms in Minnesota, USA.  Can. Vet. J. 54:693-697.

Pimentel-Filho, N. J., H. C. Mantovani, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and M. C. Dantas. 2013. Inhibition of Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus by bovicin HC5 and nisin combination in milk.  J. Agric. Sci. 8:188:196.

Hystead, E., F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. C. Schoenfuss. 2013. The effect of sodium reduction with and without potassium chloride on the survival of Listeria monocytogenes in Cheddar cheese.  J. Dairy Sci. 96:6172-6185.

Hou, Z., R. C. Fink, M. Sugawara, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2013. Transcriptional and functional responses of Escherichia coli O157:H7 growing in the lettuce rhizoplane.  Food Microbiol. 35:136-142.

Yang, H., J. Feirtag, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2013. Sanitizing effectiveness of commercial “active water” technologies on Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes.  Food Cont. 33:232-238.

Fink R.C., J. M. Popowski J. E. Anderson, J. L. Dahlberg, S. Kalyanikutty, G. I. Crawford, A. Dicostanzo, R. B. Cox, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2013. Impact of management practices and distillers' grains feeding on the prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 in feedlot cattle in Minnesota.  Foodborne Pathog Dis. 10:559-65.

Compart, D. M, A. M. Carlson, G. I. Crawford, R. C. Fink, F. Diez-Gonzalez, A. Dicostanzo, and G. C. Shurson. 2013. Presence and biological activity of antibiotics used in fuel ethanol and corn co-product production.  J Anim. Sci. 91:2395-2404.

Hou, Z, R. C. Fink, C. Radtke, M. J. Sadowsky, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2013. Incidence of naturally internalized bacteria in lettuce leaves.  Int. J. Food Microbiol. 162:260-265.

He, L, D. B. Deen, A. H. Pagel, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P.Labuza. 2013. Concentration, detection and discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores in orange juice using aptamer based surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy.  Analyst. 138:1657-1659.

Hou, Z., R. C. Fink, E. P. Black, M. Sugawara, Z. Zhang, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and M. J. Sadowsky. 2012. Gene expression profiling of Escherichia coli in response to interactions with the lettuce rhizosphere.  J. Appl. Microbiol. 113:1076-1086.

Lumor, S. E., B. D. Deen, I. Ronningen, K. Smith, N. R. Fredrickson, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2012. Detection and inactivation of saxitoxin in skim milk.  J. Food Prot. 75:1113-1116.

Lumor, S. E., N. R. Fredrickson, I. Ronningen, B. D. Deen, K. Smith, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2012. Comparison of the presence of Shiga toxin 1 in food matrices as determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a biological activity assay.  J. Food Prot. 75:1036-1042.

Fink, R. C., E. Black, Z. Hou, M. Sugawara, M. J. Sadowsky, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2012. Transcriptional responses of Escherichia coli K12 and O157:H7 in association with lettuce leaves.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:1752-1764.

He, L., B. Deen, T. Rodda, I. Ronningen, T. Blasious, C. L. Haynes, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2011. Detection of ricin in milk combined immunomagnetic separation with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.  J. Food Sci. 76:N49-53.

He, L., E. Lamont. B. Veeregoda, S. Sreevatsan, C. L. Haynes, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2011. Aptamer-based surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection of ricin in liquid foods.  Chem. Sci. 2:1579–1582.

He, L., C. L. Haynes, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2011. Rapid detection of a foreign protein in milk using IMS–SERS.  J. Raman. Spec. 42:1428-1434.

Viazis, S., and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2011. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli: The 20th century’s emerging foodborne pathogen. A Review.  Adv. Agron. 111:1-50.

Viazis, S., M. Akhtar, A. Brabban, J. Feirtag, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2011. Isolation and host range characterization of lytic bacteriophages against enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.  J. Appl. Microbiol. 110:1323-1331.

He, L., T. Rodda, C. Haynes, T. Deschaines, T. Strother, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2011. Detection of a foreign protein in milk using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy coupled with antibody-modified silver dendrites.  Anal. Chem. 83:1510–1513.

Lumor, S. E., A. Hutt, I. Ronnigen, F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2011. Validation of immunodetection (ELISA) of ricin using a biological activity assay.  J. Food Sci. 76:C112-C116.

Lumor, S. E., F. Diez-Gonzalez, and T. P. Labuza. 2011. Detection of warfare agents in liquid foods using brine shrimp lethality assay.  J. Food Sci. 76:T16-T19.

Viazis, S., M. Akhtar, J. Feirtag, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2011. Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 viability on hard surfaces by treatment with a bacteriophage mixture.  Int. J. Food Microbiol. 145:37-42.

Viazis, S., M. Akhtar, J. Feirtag, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2011. Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 viability on leafy green vegetables by treatment with a bacteriophage mixture and trans-cinnamaldehyde.  Food Microbiol. 28:149-157.

Leishman, O., M. Johnson, T. P. Labuza, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2010. Survival of Bacillus anthracis spores in fruit juices and wine.  J. Food Prot. 73:1694–1697.

Leishman, O., T. P. Labuza, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2010. Hydrophobic properties and extraction of Bacillus anthracis spores from liquid foods.  Food Microbiol. 27:661-666.