Linda J. Harris

Linda J. Harris

Linda J. Harris, Ph.D.

Position Title
Department Chair, Specialist in Cooperative Extension

Food Science and Technology

3212 Robert Mondavi Institute - South


Ph. D. North Carolina State University, 1991


Dr. Harris’s research focuses on microbial food safety emphasizing the microbiology of fresh fruits and vegetables and tree nuts. She works to develop and validate standard microbiological methods and uses these methods to evaluate the behavior of food borne pathogens on fruits, vegetables and tree nuts under different storage and processing conditions. She uses these methods to evaluate antimicrobial treatments including various sanitizers and thermal processes for their efficacy in reducing microbial populations on various cut and intact produce and tree nut surfaces.

Selected Publications

  • Davidson, G.R., J. C. Frelka, M. Yang, T. M. Jones, and L. J. Harris. 2015. Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on inshell California walnuts. J. Food Prot. 78(8):1547–1553.
  • Byrd-Bredbenner, C., M. Nolan Cohn, J. M. Farber, L. J. Harris, T. Roberts, V. Salin, M. Singh, A. Jaferi, and W. H. Sperber. 2015. Food safety considerations for innovative nutrition solutions. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1347:29-44.
  • Frelka, J. C., and L. J. Harris. 2015. Evaluation of microbial loads and the effects of antimicrobial sprays in postharvest handling of California walnuts. Food Microbiol. 48:133-142.
  • Lieberman, V.M., I. Y. Zhao, D. W. Schaffner, M. D. Danyluk, and L. J. Harris. 2015 Survival or growth of inoculated Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on yellow onions (Allium cepa) under conditions simulating foodservice and consumer handling and storage. J. Food Prot. 78(1):42–50.
  • Blessington, T., E. J. Mitcham, and L.J. Harris. 2014. Growth and survival of Enterobacteriaceae and inoculated Salmonella on walnut hulls and maturing walnut fruit. J. Food Prot. 77(9):1462-1470.
  • McKellar, R. C., F. Peréz Rodríguez, L. J. Harris, A. Moyne, B. Blais, E. Topp, G. Bezanson, S. Bach, and P. Delaquis. 2014. Evaluation of different approaches for modelling Escherichia coli O157:H7 survival on field lettuce. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 184:74-85.
  • Kopit, L., E. B. Kim, R. J. Siezen, L. J. Harris, and M. Marco. 2014. Safety of the surrogate Enterococcus faecium NRRL B-2354 for use in thermal process validation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80(6):1899–1909.
  • Blessington, T., C. G. Theofel, E. J. Mitcham, and L. J. Harris. 2013. Survival of foodborne pathogens on inshell walnuts. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 166:341–348.
  • Moyne, A.-L., L.J. Harris, and M.L. Marco. 2013. Assessments of total and viable Escherichia coli on field and laboratory grown lettuce. PLOS ONE. 8(7):e70643.
  • Williams, T.R., A.-L. Moyne, L.J. Harris, and M.L. Marco.  2013. Season, irrigation, leaf age, and Escherichia coli inoculation influence the bacterial diversity in the lettuce phyllosphere. PLOS ONE. 8(7):e68642.
  • Harris, L.J., E.D. Berry, T. Blessington, M. Erickson, M. Jay-Russell, X. Jiang, K. Killinger, F. C. Michel, Jr., P. Millner, K. Schneider, M. Sharma, T.V. Suslow, L. Wang, and R. W. Worobo.  2013. A framework for developing research protocols for evaluation of microbial hazards and controls during production that pertain to the application of untreated soil amendments of animal origin on land used to grow produce that may be consumed raw. Journal of Food Protection 76(6):1062–1084.
  • Schaffner, D. W., R. L. Buchanan, S. Calhoun, M.D. Danyluk, L.J. Harris, D. Djordjevic, R. C. Whiting, B. Kottapalli, M. Wiedmann.  2013. Issues to consider when setting intervention targets with limited data for low-moisture food commodities:  A peanut case study.  Journal of Food Protection 76(2):360-369.
  • Blessington, T., C.G. Theofel, and L.J. Harris.  April 2013.  A dry-inoculation method for nut kernels. Food Microbiology 33(2):292-297.
  • Harris, L.J., J. Bender, E.A. Bihn, T. Blessinton, M.D. Danyluk, P. Delaquis, L. Goodridge, M. Ibekwe, S. Ilic, K. Kniel, J.T. Lejeune, D.W. Schaffner, D. Stoeckel, and T.V. Suslow.  December 2012. A framework for developing research protocols for evaluation of microbial hazards and controls during production that pertain to the quality of agricultural water contacting fresh produce that may be consumed raw. Journal of Food Protection. 75(12):2251-2273.

Awards and Honors

  • International Association for Food Protection, 2010 Frozen Food Foundation Research Award

Extension of Knowledge Activities 

Through electronic means, presentations, or one-on-one interactions Dr. Harris works with food producers, processors, consumers, and representatives from State and Federal Government on issues related to microbial food safety. She interacts with a wide range of individuals from homemakers and small-scale farmers to large-scale commercial processors and many support industries and organizations. 

For more information on Dr. Harris, visit her home page.