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Dennis J. D'Amico, Assistant Professor




(860) 486-0567




ABL Room 302B


ABL Room 315

Lab Phone:









Doctor of Philosophy, Food Microbiology. Joint Animal, Nutrition and Food Sciences program. University of Vermont. 

Master of Science, Food Microbiology/Technology. Dept. of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont.

Bachelor of Science, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Cum Laude, University of Vermont.



Area of Interest

My primary research and outreach efforts focus on improving the safety and quality of cheese. For more than a decade I have worked extensively with small to very-small producers on product development, process control, environmental monitoring, and the development and implementation of food safety management systems. I develop, support and deliver workshops to provide dairy manufacturers and professionals with technical and scientific knowledge necessary to assure the consistent production and sale of safe, high quality cheese and dairy products. My research examines the presence, ecology, and diversity of Listeria spp. in small to very-small dairy processing facilities, the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in raw milk destined for cheesemaking and microbial behavior during the manufacture and aging of various cheese varieties. Current projects seek to identify natural interventions and preventive controls for traditional dairy foods and the validation of traditional processes.


Classes Taught

ANSC 3641            Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology

ANSC 3642W        Scientific Writing in Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology


Academic Grants, Honors & Awards

Achieving Risk Reduction Through Identification of Research, Education and Technology Needs Of Artisan and Farmstead Cheesemakers Grant from USDA NIFA Foundational Program. (11/06/14-11/05/15)

Enhanced surveillance and control of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli in dairy processing facilities Grant from George Walker Milk Research Fund. (1/1/2015-12/31/2015)

Dr. Dennis D’Amico received an award from the Innovation Center for US Dairy in recognition for Outstanding Leadership, Collaboration, and Education for his work on the US Dairy Food Safety Initiative. (December 2013)University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences New Achiever Alumni Award (2011)

International Association of Food Protection Developing Scientist Competition 2006 Graduate Student Teaching Award of Merit. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (2004)

Ruben and Rose Mattus Scholarship for undergraduate research (2002)


Interviews and Articles

"The Ancient Art of Cheesemaking Attracts Scientific Gawkers." NPR Article (November 2014).

"Artisan/Farmstead Cheesemaker Food Safety Course To Be Held in Virgina." SFN Today Article (November 2014).



“Hygiene and Food Safety for Artisan Cheesemaking.”  Full day training workshop. Regional workshops presented across the US with more than 500 attendees since 2013.   

                 - The UConn Today article featuring this workshop can be read here


Professional Memberships & Service

International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)

              Editorial Board, Journal of Food Protection

              Co-Chair: Raw milk sub-committee

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

              Reviewer: Journal of Food Science

American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)

              Reviewer: Journal of Dairy Science

American Cheese Society (ACS)

              Board of Directors           

Worldwide Traditional Cheese Association (WwTCa)



Recent Publications

Nyarko, E., D.J.  D'Amico, B. Koeritzer, P. Mach, W. Xia and C.W. Donnelly. 2014. Delivery of selective agents via time-delayed release tablets improves recovery of Listeria monocytogenes injured by acid and nitrite. Journal of Food Protection. 77: 772-780.

D`Amico, D.J. M.J. Druart and C.W. Donnelly. 2014. Comparing the Behavior of Multi-Drug Resistant and Pan-susceptible Salmonella During the Production and Aging of a Gouda Cheese Manufactured from Raw Milk..  Journal of Food Protection 77: 903-913.

D'Amico, Dennis. 2014. Microbiological Quality and Safety Issues in Cheesemaking. In Cheese and Microbes (pp. 251–309 (59)). Eds. C. Donnelly. American Society for Microbiology.

D’Amico, Dennis. 2014. Adventitious Microbes Can Affect the Safety and Quality of Cheese.  Microbe. 9(3).

D’Amico, Dennis. 2014. Microbiological Quality and Safety Issues in Cheesemaking. Microbiol Spectrum 2(1). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec. CM-0011-2012.

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. Journal of Food Protection. 74:1353-1358.

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 Protection 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. Journal of Food Protection. 73:2217-2224.

D`Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2010. Microbiological quality of raw milk utilized for small scale artisan cheese production: Impact of farm practices and characteristics. Journal of Dairy Science. 93:134–147.

D`Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly. 2009. Detection, isolation and incidence of Listeria spp., including Listeria monocytogenes, from small scale artisan cheese processing environments: A methods comparison. Journal of Food Protection. 72:2499–2507.

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. Journal of Food Protection. 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. Journal of Food Protection. 71:1580-1589.

D`Amico, D.J., M. Druart, and C.W. Donnelly. 2008. 60-Day Aging Requirement Does Not Ensure the Safety of Surface-Mold-Ripened Soft Cheeses Manufactured from Raw or Pasteurized Milk When Listeria monocytogenes Is Introduced as a Post-processing Contaminant. Journal of Food Protection. 71: 1563-1571.

D’Amico, D.J., Silk, T.M., Wu, J., and M. Guo. 2007. Inactivation of Microorganisms in Milk and Apple Cider Treated with Ultrasound. Journal of Food Protection. 69:556–563

Under Review

D’Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly“Growth and survival of microbial pathogens in cheese”

In: CHEESE:  Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology, 4rd Edition.  Volume 1: General Aspects.  Volume 2: Major Cheese Groups. P.F. Fox, P.L.H. McSweeney, P. Cotter and D.W. Everett, eds. Elsevier Publishers, London.

D’Amico, D.J.  "Codex Alimentarius; Equivalence of Pasteurization; General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade (GATT); Hygiene; Salmonella; United States Deparmtne of Agriculture (USDA); and Standards of Identity.” In: The Oxford Companion to Cheese. C.W. Donnelly, ed. Oxford University Press.


Invited Presentations

American Academy of Microbiology colloquium: The Microbiology of Cheese. National. (June 11, 2014)

“The Food Safety Modernization Act: What It Means for Your Cheese Plant.” Presented at the 2013 annual conference of the American Cheese Society.  Madison, Wisconsin.  August 2, 2013.

“On-farm testing: An aid to good practices”. Presented at the 2012 annual conference of the American Cheese Society. Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Food Safety Challenges and Initiatives for Artisan Cheese making”. Presented at the Dairy Professional Development Group meeting at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection, Providence, Rhode Island.

“Safety, Quality, and the Future of Raw Milk Cheese in the United States”. Presented at the 2012 Annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists. Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Safety of Raw Milk Cheese: Beyond Arbitrary Aging”. Presented at the Food and Nutrition Program Seminar Series, Food Directorate Health Canada, 21 February 2012. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

“Food Safety and Farmstead Cheese making”. Presented at the 17th Annual Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium. 2011. Petaluma, California.

“Controlling Pathogens in Cheese Production”. Presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Cheese Society. Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

“Raw Milk Cheese in the U.S.- the 60-Day Rule and Risk Reduction”. Presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Managing Vegetative Pathogens in Raw Milk Cheeses”. Presented at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Food Research Institute Spring Meeting, May 2011.


Hobbies/ Non-Academic Interests

With my free time I like to spend time with my family and pets (3 dogs and a guinea pig).  I like to cook but love to ferment foods.  In addition to kombucha, cheese, and other dairy products, I am also a competitive homebrewer.


Last updated: 04/18/2016 8:09:20

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