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Purdue Food Safety Experts

Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

H. Leon Thacker
Professor, veterinary pathology

Director, Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

(765) 494-7460; home: (765) 463-5340

Is president of American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. Has done research on swine digestive and respiratory diseases and has presented lectures on swine and avian diseases. Has published more than 100 articles on animal diseases and diagnostics. Says there are a number of reasons why American consumers aren't at risk of eating meat from cattle infected with "mad cow" disease. Chief among them is that the cattle disease has never been documented in America, and imports of British beef have been banned for years.

Food chemistry

Alan R. Hanks
Professor, biochemistry

State chemist and seed commissioner

(765) 494-1492; home: (317) 583-4536

Researches validation of analytical methods. President-elect of Association of Official Analytical Chemists International. Immediate past president of Association of American Plant Food Control Officers. Member of the World Health Organization and the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Food sanitation

James V. Chambers
Professor and Extension specialist, food science

(765) 494-8279


A microbiologist with expertise in food sanitation practices and waste water treatment. Well-versed on federal law banning cancer-causing additives -- including pesticides -- in processed food. Can comment on science's ability to detect substances in quantities as small as one part per trillion, plus negligible risk and risk communication. Is regional communicator for the Institute of Food Technologists. Consults poultry processing plants on waste and odor issues.

Peter M. Muriana
Associate professor, food science

(765) 494-8284; home: (765) 447-2413


Expertise in food microbiology, food-borne pathogens and anti-microbial proteins. Is a member of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service Task Force on Food Safety.


William D. Evers
Associate professor and Extension specialist, foods and nutrition

(765) 494-8546; home: (765) 497-1040


A registered dietitian with research experience in science nutrition. Provides the media and the public with nutrition and food safety information.

April C. Mason
Professor and Extension specialist, foods and nutrition; Associate dean, Extension; Assistant director, Purdue Cooperative Extension Program

(765) 494-8539; home: (765) 463-1550


In charge of a food safety education national grant. Researches mineral availability from plant products. Member of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service Task Force on Food Safety. Co-author of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Publication "The Pesticide Paradox." Teaches consumers how to reduce pesticide risks through food preparation techniques and by eating a wide variety of foods.


Dave E. Scott
Pesticide administrator, Office of the Indiana State Chemist

(765) 494-1587

Is vice president of national association of pesticide regulators. Chairman of the Indiana Ground Water Task Force subcommittee on agricultural chemicals. Is president of the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officers.

Wilella D. Burgess
Extension specialist, foods and nutrition

Coordinator, food safety education project

(765) 494-8186; home: (765) 474-7216


Co-author of Purdue Cooperative Extension publication, "The Pesticide Paradox." Helps consumers put food safety risks into perspective. Teaches consumers how to reduce pesticide risks through proper preparation techniques and by eating a variety of foods.

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