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New WSU Produce Safety Scientist

Claire Murphy professional photo

Claire Murphy
Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center

Claire Murphy joined the WSU School of Food Science as an Assistant Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist in August and is based at the WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Prior to joining WSU, Claire earned her Master of Science and PhD in Food Science and Technology as well as a Master of Public Health in Infectious Diseases from Virginia Tech. Claire’s research and extension program focuses on reducing foodborne pathogen contamination throughout the produce supply chain by providing science-based recommendations. Her overarching goal is to have both her research and extension activities complement each other by engaging in both field (e.g., sampling commercial packinghouses or harvesters) and laboratory (e.g., benchtop, growth chamber) experiments aimed at directly addressing stakeholder needs. Claire plans to conduct research and extension activities aimed at addressing current emerging produce safety concerns, this currently includes developing environmental monitoring program resources for the tree fruit industry, ensuring pre- and post-harvest water safety while maximizing usage, and validating cleaning and sanitizing efficacy. She is currently a trainer for the Produce Safety Alliance grower course, packinghouse HACCP, and the Preventive Control rule for human foods and is looking forward to teaching trainings across the Pacific Northwest. Claire is actively involved in and currently holds leadership positions within the International Association for Food Protection, serving as the vice-chair of the water safety professional development. Claire grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Yakima this summer with her husband and two dogs. In her free time, Claire enjoys baking and spending time outside with her family. She is looking forward to building a strong produce safety research and extension program at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center.

Washington State University