Assistant Professor

I study bacterial food safety with an emphasis on understanding the intrinsic bacterial factors which contribute to foodborne outbreaks of salmonellosis and listeriosis.

Current projects include:

  • Determining the contribution of sanitizer tolerance and biofilm formation capability to colonization Listeria monocytogenes colonization of Vermont dairies
  • Understanding whether isolate stress tolerance is a key contributing factor to foodborne outbreaks of S. enterica
  • Understanding how common Salmonella enterica is in backyard laying hens and hatchling chicks and what owners know about S. enterica, good husbandry practices, and good egg handling and sanitation practices

I am also interested in how scientists can better communicate food safety risks to consumers. This issue is one of the key focuses of my class NFS 195C: Deadly Foods: Outbreak Investigations, which provides an entry-level examination of foodborne pathogens, epidemiology of foodborne outbreaks, and in-depth discussion of multiple foodborne outbreaks in the U.S.

Of course, food safety is not just an American problem. My fall course, NFS 254 Global Food Safety, explores how differing food safety legislation, cultural factors, and distribution of foodborne pathogens affect food safety globally and how the international food system affects the local food systems.

Research and/or Creative Works

Andrea has been awarded a 2-year USDA NIFA Seed grant ($200,000) to research adaptations of outbreak strains of Salmonella, the consequences for human health, and possible new methods to foil them. Specifically, she will investigate whether outbreak-associated strains of Salmonella are uniquely adapted to survive food processing and sanitation, leading to a greater probability of illness in consumers. She will be working with incoming Food Systems PhD student Eurydice Aboagye and various undergraduate researchers on this research from summer 2020-2022.

Andrea's 2020 Summer of Science talk with 4-H teens about her Backyard Chickens and Salmonella.

Publications

  • Etter, A.J., West, A.M., Burnett, J.L., Wu, S.T., Veenhuizen, D., Ogas, R.A., Oliver, H.F. 2019. Salmonella Heidelberg food isolates associated with a foodborne outbreak have enhanced stress tolerance capabilities. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 85(16): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31175193/
  • Etter, A.J.,* Hammons, S.R.,* Simmons, C., Roof, S, Wu, T., Cook, P.W., Katubig, A., Stasiewicz M.J., Wright, E., Worchocki, S., Thesmar, H.S., Hollingworth, J., Wiedmann, M., and Oliver, H.F. 2017. Enhanced sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOPs) have limited impact on Listeria monocytogenes prevalence in retail delis. J. Food Prot. 80(11): 1903-1912. *These authors contributed equally to this work. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29053419/
  • Hammons, S. R., Etter, A.J., Wang, J., Wu, T., Ford, T., Howard, M.T., and Oliver H.F. 2017. Evaluation of third-party deep cleaning as a Listeria monocytogenes control strategy in retail delis. J. Food Prot. 80(11): 1913-1923. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29053422/
  • Wang, J.,* Ray, A.J.,* Hammons, S.R., and Oliver, H.F. Persistent and transient Listeria monocytogenes strains from retail deli environments vary in their ability to adhere and form biofilms and rarely have inlA premature stop codons. Foodborne Pathog. Dis. 2015; 12(2): 151-158. *These authors contributed equally to this work https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25569840/

Awards and Recognition

  • Interviewed on the Dave Gram Show for Seeds and Society segment on November 7, 2019 about research on backyard chickens and Salmonella Interview at: https://blubrry.com/radiovermont/51994419/access-to-justice-and-salmonella/?autoplay=true
  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (NIFA-AFRI) Predoctoral Research Fellowship. 2016-2018. Award No.: 2017-67011-26041
  • International Association for Food Protection Developing Scientist Awards Technical Talk Competition First Place Award (2017)

Associations and Affiliations

International Association for Food Protection (2014-present).

Member of the following professional development groups:

  • Dairy Safety and Quality
  • Developing Food Safety Professionals
  • Retail and Food Service
  • Meat and Poultry
Andrea Etter, PhD, Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

  • Food Safety and food microbiology
  • Bacterial genetics and stress tolerance
  • Backyard chickens and Salmonella risk

Education

  • PhD, Food Science, Purdue University, 2017
  • BS, Biology, Maranatha Baptist University, 2011

Contact

Phone:
  • 802-656-0541
Office Location:

230 Marsh Life Science

Office Hours:

by appointment