Outreach

Spring 2022:

 

1) Popular Science, January 9, 2022 - Dr. Ravishankar was interviewed on the challenges of pre-harvest food safety, specifically on the control of animal/bird intrusion in produce fields. This article by Nikita Amir in Popular Science is titled, "These bird species are most likely to contaminate our fruits and veggies" and reports on a sweeping new study that dissects how pathogens get passed on from bird poop to farms to food. To read this article, go to: https://www.popsci.com/environment/birds-bacteria-fruits-vegetables/ 

 

Summer 2021:

 

1) Dr. Ravishankar's lab team gave a lab tour with a demonstration of various ongoing food safety projects, to a group of high school students attending the SaferFoodCats Summer Camp on June 25, 2021.

2) Dr. Ravishankar and her team members gave a national presentation on the importance of food safety including a demonstration on appropriate handwashing, efficacy of antimicrobial washes on fresh strawberries, and extraction of DNA from fresh strawberries to high school students attending the Virtual USDA-Ag Discovery camp on June 17, 2021.

 

Spring 2021:

 

1) Dr. Ravishankar participated on a panel focused on Women Entrepreneurs: Ideas and Innovation in "Convo with Cantwell"  March 18, 2021 on a monthly webinar hosted by Dr. Betsy Cantwell, UA Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, as part of Women's History month to inspire women in future innovation.

2) Dr. Ravishankar and Richard Park served as judges for the 66th annual SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair held virtually March 1-6, 2021, to evaluate food safety science fair projects from middle and high school students. For more information, visit https://sarsef.org.

 

Spring 2020:

 

1) Dr. Margarethe Cooper and Dr. Sadhana Ravishankar assembled a team of students, staff, and faculty to judge and place the Food Safety Award entries at the 65th annual SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair held March 12, 2020. Categories included projects from elementary, middle and high school fair projects with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention awards. Winners and a video awards ceremony are posted on the SARSEF YouTube channel.

2) 2020 Student Food Safety Poster Session at the 2020 Southwest Ag Summit, held February 27, 2021

Students had the opportunity to present their work and network with growers to share food safety research from sponsorship by the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, Southwest Ag Summit Conference Organizers, and the Victor P. Smith Endowed Chair in Food Safety Education.

2020 Student Food Safety Conference Poster Session (February 27, 2021)

 

Fall 2019:

 

1) Members of Dr. Ravishankar's lab visited Yuma, AZ on December 20, 2019 to tour lettuce fields and a processing plant.

 

Photo of trip to Yuma lettuce field and processing plant
Field trip to Yuma, AZ (Lettuce Fields and Processing Plant)

 

2) Dr. Ravishankar gave a tour of her labs and discussed the various food safety projects ongoing in her lab to numerous visitors during the Open House of the ACBS Building on November 1, 2019.

 

3) Dr. Ravishankar, as chair of the UA Food Safety Consortium with the Food Safety Consortium team and her staff, planned and organized the 2019 Food Safety Conference (https://cals.arizona.edu/fsc/content/2019-food-safety-conference), requested and raised sponsorships from various CALS units, produce and food industry, obtained food product donations from local food industry, invited speakers from various sectors, hosted a poster session and competition for students, and hosted a dinner for the Food Safety Consortium Advisory Committee members and key food industry personnel. 

 

Photo of Food Safety Conference
2019 UA Food Safety Conference on October 17, 2019 at The Lodge on the Desert. 
Poster Award Winner from Dr. Ravishankar's Lab: Stephanie Arellano

 

Summer 2019:

 

1) USDA-APHIS and UA-Yuma, USDA-Ag Discovery Camp Students Tour

Members from Dr. Ravishankar’s lab demonstrated the food safety aspects of various projects to a group of 30 high school students and their mentors from various regions throughout the state of Arizona as a part of the USDA-Ag Discovery Camp on June 25, 2019. This event was organized by the USDA-APHIS and UA-Yuma Campus, mainly focused on agriculture related research and helping students understand the importance of agriculture and safe food production in our lives.

 

2) UA-Food Safety Program, SaferFoodCats High School Students Tour

Dr. Ravishankar's team members demonstrated the ongoing food safety work in her lab to a group of around 15 high school students from local schools and their mentors when they toured Dr. Ravishankar's la as a part of the SaferFoodCats High School Students Visit on June 12, 2019. This event was focused on helping students understand the importance of food safety.

 

Spring 2019:

 

1) UA-Tech Launch Arizona, Sixth Annual I-squared Awards Night, April 2, 2019.

Tech Launch Arizona I Squared Awards Event

 

2) Cactus-IFT, Cactus-IFT Supplier's Night - UA Food Safety Booth

Food safety team members from Dr. Ravishankar’s lab exhibited the different antimicrobials and projects in the lab to around 15 food science professionals at the Cactus-IFT Suppliers' Night Food Safety Booth held in Phoenix on the 9th of April, 2019. This event was organized by the Cactus Institute of Food Technologists section, with a goal to represents all areas of the food industry and to promote all aspects of food technology.

 

3) Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF), UA-Food Safety Booth at the SARSEF Future Innovator's Night

Dr. Ravishankar and her team hosted the University of Arizona- Food Safety Booth at the SARSEF - Future Innovator's Night on March 8, 2019 held in the Tucson Convention Center, in which they explained the importance of food safety and microbiology, prevention of cross-contamination and use of natural sanitizers for washing fresh produce to thousands of children and their parents visiting the SARSEF posters and exhibits. 

 

SARSEF Photo 2019
Dr. Ravishankar, Aishwarya Rao, Darth Vader, Richard Park, Qi Wei

 

 

SARSEF Photo 2019
Qi Wei, Stephanie Arellano, and Aishwarya Rao hosting at SARSEF