University of Vermont

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Faculty - Catherine Donnelly

Catherine Donnelly, PhD, Professor

  • PhD, Food Science, North Carolina State University, 1983
  • MS, Food Science, North Caroline State University, 1980
  • BS, Animal Science, University of Vermont, 1978
  • Dr. Donnelly's C.V.

Professional Affiliations

Area of expertise

Listeria monocytogenes

Contact Information

Phone: 802-656-5495

Office Location: 355 MLS Carrigan Wing

Office Hours: by appointment


Catherine Donnelly, an expert on the microbiological safety of food, believes that requiring cheesemakers to use pasteurized milk is not the best way to produce safe (and tasty) cheeses; it`s better to educate cheesemakers about how to ensure the safety of their raw-milk products.

Professional interests:

Catherine Donnelly was co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, (VIAC), which ended its workshops in 2013, a UVM-based institute that provided educational opportunities and scientific/commercial advice to small-scale cheesemakers. VIAC also worked to promote greater public understanding of artisan cheeses. Prof. Donnelly is a recognized international expert on the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes and has published numerous articles and delivered hundreds of presentations on the topic. Specific research interests center on development of detection methods for Listeria and understanding the impact of sublethal injury on Listeria recovery and detection. Prof. Donnelly and her research colleagues pioneered the development of methods to detect Listeria in foods, including development of UVM media. Current scholarly interests include investigation of the microbiological safety of raw milk cheeses aged for 60 days.

  • NFS 295: Food Safety & Public Policy

Recent Publications
  • D’Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2011. Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from raw milk utilized in small-scale artisan cheese production. J. Food Prot. 1353-1358.

  • D’Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2011. FDA’s Domestic and Imported Cheese Compliance Program Results: January 1, 2004-December 31, 2006. Food Prot. Trends 31:216-226.

  • D’Amico, D.J., M.J. Druart and C.W. Donnelly. 2010. Behavior of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the manufacture and aging of Gouda and stirred-curd Cheddar cheeses manufactured from raw milk. J. Food Prot.12:2217-2224.

  • D’Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2010. Microbiological quality of raw milk used for small scale artisan cheese production in Vermont: Effect of farm characteristics and practices. J. Dairy Sci. 93:134-147.

  • D’Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2009. Detection, isolation and incidence of Listeria spp. in small-scale artisan cheese processing facilities: a methods comparison. J. Food Prot. 72: 2499-2507.

  • Puzy, K.A., P.J. Gardner, V.K. Petrova, C.W. Donnelly and G.A. Petrucci. 2008. Automated species and strain identification of bacteria in complex matrices using FTIR spectroscopy. Proc. SPIE, Vol. 6954, 695412 (2008).

  • D’Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2008. Enhanced detection of Listeria spp. in farmstead cheese processing environments through dual primary enrichment, PCR and molecular subtyping. J. Food Prot. 71:2239-2248.

  • D’Amico, D.J., E. Groves and C.W. Donnelly. 2008. Low incidence of foodborne pathogens of concern in raw milk utilized for farmstead cheese production. J. Food Prot. 71:1580-1589.

  • D'Amico, D.J., M.J. Druart and C.W. Donnelly. 2008. The 60 day aging requirement does not ensure safety of bloomy rind cheeses manufactured from raw or pasteurized milk when Listeria monocytogenes are introduced as post-processing contaminants. J. Food Prot. 71:1563-1571.