Faith Critzer, an experienced food safety extension specialist, joined Washington State University in January. She plans to build a produce safety research program at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser and work with industry groups and producers across the state. 

Increasing food safety regulations and concerns for buyers have increased the demand from the industry for more research and extension effort in this arena. According to a WSU news release, the goals of her program will be “to better understand the ecology of foodborne pathogens in growing and harvesting environment; determine where risks are likely to occur during production, harvest, and storage; and lastly, determine practical solutions that can be applied to mitigate these risks.”

Previously, Critzer worked as a food safety extension specialist for University of Tennessee, when she worked with a wide variety of food production systems. But, working with produce growers has always been a particular passion, and what drew her to the new opportunity at WSU. “To be able to focus on an area that I’m so passionate about is wonderful,” she said.