Professor

Dr. Catherine Donnelly is an internationally recognized expert on the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. She joined the faculty in 1983 when a large outbreak of illness caused by a relatively unknown bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, occurred in Boston, Massachusetts. Donnelly’s laboratory began research on this dangerous foodborne pathogen. She developed procedures for detection of Listeria in food, and worked collaboratively with the FDA in refuting theories that Listeria could survive pasteurization. She has lectured extensively on the topic of Listeria around the globe.

Donnelly served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods from January 1999 to 2005 and was a member of the Science Advisory Board to FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research. Donnelly developed an interest in artisan cheese and controlling the threat of Listeria contamination in artisan cheese. In 2004, she and her colleague Paul Kindstedt became co-directors of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese (VIAC) at UVM. Through VIAC, Donnelly was able to collaborate with cheese scientists from around the globe on issues concerning cheese safety.

Her book Cheese and Microbes, published by the American Society for Microbiology, provided insight into the microbiological complexities of cheese as a living food. She served as Editor in Chief of the Oxford Companion to Cheese, and was the recipient of a James Beard Award in honor of her work on this landmark publication. Donnelly received the Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award from the International Association of Food Protection in 2006 in recognition of her outstanding laboratory contributions, and in 2011, was named a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists. She served as the Associate Director of the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station from 1988-1998.

Publications

  • Limoges, M. and C.W. Donnelly. 2019. FDA's cheese and Cheese Products Compliance Program guideline criteria for non-toxigenic Escherichia coli: A retrospective analysis of impacts on domestic and imported cheeses. Food Control:106 (2019) 106730.
  • Neale, Rosalind G. and Catherine W. Donnelly. 2019. Assessing transfer potential and methods of decontamination of Listeria monocytogenes in brushes used for production of washed-rind cheese. International Symposium on Problems of Listeriosis. Toronto, Canada. September 25.
  • Neale, R. and C.W. Donnelly. 2019. Assessing Growth and Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in Wash Solutions Used in Artisanal Washed-Rind Cheese Production. IAFP Annual Meeting, Louisville KY. July 21-24.
  • Limoges, M., G. Frontino and C. Donnelly. 2018. Comparative Recovery of Listeria spp. from Dairy Environmental Surfaces Using 3M and World Bioproducts Environmental Sponges and Standard Enrichment and Enumeration Methods. P3-148. IAFP Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT July 7-11.
  • Lekkas, P., M. Sharma, D. Neher, T. Weicht, P. Milner and C. Donnelly. 2017. Effect of soil management on the persistence of Escherichia coli and Listeria spp. In manure-amended soils in the Northeast United States. P3-50 IAFP Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida July 9-12.
  • Limoges, M., D. Neher, T. Weicht, P. Milner, M. Sharma and C. Donnelly. 2017. Survival of generic Escherichia coli and Listeria spp. Populations in dairy compost- and poultry litter compost-amended soils in the Northeastern United States. P3-49 IAFP Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida July 9-12.
  • Trmčić , A., R. Ralyea , L. Meunier-Goddik , C. Donnelly, K. Glass, D. D’Amico, E. Meredith, M. Kehler, N. Tranchina, C. McCue, M. Wiedmann. 2016. Consensus categorization of cheese based on water activity and pH – a rational approach to systemizing cheese diversity.   Journal of Dairy Science 100:841–847
  • Lekkas, P., M. Sharma, D. Neher, T. Weicht, P. Milner, M. Limoges, and C. Donnelly. 2016. Survival of generic E. coli and naturally occurring Listeria spp. in manure-amended loamy and sandy soils in the Northeastern United States. P1-08 IAFP Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO. August 1.
  • Lekkas, P. and C.W. Donnelly. 2016. Farm sources of Listeria monocytogenes and impact on the microbial safety of milk destined for artisan cheese production. P2-141 IAFP Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO. August 2.
  • Limoges, M. and C. Donnelly. 2016. FDA’s compliance program guideline criteria for non-toxigenic Escherichia coli: Impacts on domestic and imported cheese. P2-142 IAFP Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO. August 2.
  • Gavell, J. and C. Donnelly. 2016. Validating the efficacy of cleaning procedures used to reduce microbial loads on wooden boards used for cheese aging. P2-143 IAFP Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO. August 2.
  • Donnelly,C. and P. Lekkas. 2016. Identification of farm sources of Listeria monocytogenes and incidence in milk destined for artisan cheese production. Problems of Listeriosis ISOPOL XIX, June 14-17, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. 
  • Lekkas, P., M. Sharma, D. Neher, T. Weicht, P. Milner and C. Donnelly. 2015. Population Dynamics of Generic E. coli and Naturally Occurring Listeria in Manure-Amended Soils in the Northeastern U.S P1-178 IAFP Annual Meeting, Portland, OR.
Catherine Donnelly

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Listeria monocytogenes

Education

  • PhD, Food Science, North Carolina State University, 1983
  • MS, Food Science, North Carolina State University, 1980
  • BS, Animal Science, University of Vemront, 1978

Contact

Phone:
  • 802-656-5495
Office Location:

355 MLS Carrigan Wing

Office Hours:

by appointment

Courses Taught