Department of Mathematics

National Food Safety and Toxicology Center

National Food Safety and Toxicology Center

Ewen Todd, Director

Project 1. Anthrax as a bioterrorism agent. The team will perform a literature
review of the anthrax organism to compile characteristics of maximum and minimum
growth rates, and in particular, its survival in milk and food. The team will model
the possible distribution of the organism through the supply chain and address
questions such as

Suppose there are x-million spores in a milk tanker before pasteurization.
Model the eventual distribution of the surviving spores to consumers.

Project 2. Survival of pathogens in manured fields. What is the likelihood of
certain pathogens in manure spread on fields surviving to contaminate
produce that would be consumed with or without cooking?  How does
survival differ for organic versus traditional farming?  (This is a major concern
for organic produce systems.)

Project 3. Quantify Listeria risk. What is the likelihood of the presence of
Listeria monocytogenes in the foods like soft cheeses and what populations
are at the most risk? The deliverable will be a statistical predictive model
of populations at the highest risk.

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For any additional questions regarding the program curriculum and/or the extension deadline for the application to the MSIM program, contact us at


Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science