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Dennis J. D'Amico, Assistant Professor




(860) 486-0567




ABL Room 302B


ABL Room 315

Lab Phone:





  • Dr. D'Amico moderates the "Raw Milk Debate" at the International Associate for Food Protection Annual Conference.





  • Ph.D. (Food Microbiology), University of Vermont, 2008
  • MS (Food Microbiology/Technology), University of Vermont, 2004
  • BS (Nutrition and Food Sciences), Cum Laude, University of Vermont, 2002



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 Honors & Awards

Dr. Dennis D'Amico was selected as the recipient of the 2016 ASAS NE Young Scientist Educator Award.

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)


Active Grants

Efficacy of Protective Cultures to Control Listeria Monocytogenes in Milk and Cheese, George Walker Milk Research Fund.

Equipping small dairy processors with the knowledge and skills necessary to comply with the Food and Drug Administration Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food., N.C. Dairy Foundation, Inc. CO-PI

Development and evaluation of a Listeria monitoring and controls virtual reality simulator for small dairy processors., N.C. Dairy Foundation, Inc. CO-PI

Enhanced surveillance and control of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli in dairy processing facilities. George Walker Milk Research Fund. (1/1/2015-12/31/2016)

Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Online Food Safety Course for Artisan and Farmstead Cheesemakers. USDA/AMS, National Dairy Council. Role: CO-PI

U.S. Artisan and Specialty Cheese Industry Census. American Cheese Education Foundation. 1/1/16-12/31/16

Investigating the beneficial role of low-fat cheese and cheese starter cultures in the prevention of inflammatory bowel disease in a mouse colitis model. USDA/NIFA.  11/6/15-11/5/17.  Role: CO-PI                                                                                               


Utilization of GRAS compounds as antimicrobial dip and coating treatments for controlling Listeria monocytogenes on high moisture cheese. USDA/AMS.  8/25/14-12/31/16      


Technical Assistance and Training for Small Scale Cheese Makers to Enhance the Microbiological Quality and Safety of Artisan Cheeses. USDA/RD. 07/01/14-06/30/17      


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

American Cheese Society

               Board of Directors

               Chair, Regulatory and Academic Committee      


International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)

                Editorial Board, Journal of Food Protection                                                                            

                IAFP Dairy Professional Development Group

Oldways Cheese Coalition

              Academic Advisory Committee                         

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

              Reviewer: Journal of Food Science

              Nutmeg Section of the Institute of Food Technologists

                            Chair of Scholarship & Awards Committee

American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)

              Reviewer: Journal of Dairy Science

American Public Health Association

              Technical Committee for the 18th edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products 

Worldwide Traditional Cheese Association (WwTCa)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Dairy Practices Council (DPC)



Recent Publications

D'Amico, D. (2016). Artisan Cheese Food Safety Forum: 2015 Conference Summary (pp. 226-228): Food Protection Trends. May 2016.

 American Cheese Society (2016). Code of Best Practices for Cheesemakers. March 2016. 

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. “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. World Trade Organization In Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford University Press.  

D'Amico, D. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: In Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford University Press.

D'Amico, D. Hygiene: In Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford University Press.  

D'Amico, D. Salmonella: In Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford University Press.  

D'Amico, D. United States Department of Agriculture: In Oxford Companion to Cheese.  Oxford University Press.

D'Amico, D. Standards of Identity: In Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford University Press.


Under Review

Sauders, B., D'Amico, D. Listeria monocytogenes cross-contamination of cheese: risk throughout the food supply chain. Epidemiology and Infection.

D'Amico, D. Stakeholder Forum Identifies Challenges and Opportunities in Education and Outreach. Journal of Extension.


Recent Abstracts

Barnes, S. R., and D.J. D’Amico.  Survival and Growth of Listeria monocytogenes on Queso Fresco Cheese Stored Under Modified Atmospheres. 2016. ADSA/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting.

Barnes, S. R., and D.J. D’Amico. Evaluating the Efficacy of Commercially Produced Protective Cultures for Controlling Listeria monocytogenes in Broth, Milk, and High Moisture Cheese. International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting. July 31 - August 3, 2016 

Kozak, S.M., K.M. Margison, and D.J. D’Amico.  Synergistic Antimicrobial Combinations in the Inhibition and Inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes in a Neutral Broth System and Whole Milk. International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting. July 31 - August 3, 2016 

Kozak, S.M. and D.J. D’Amico.  Identification of Synergistic Antimicrobial Combinations to Control Listeria monocytogenes in an Acidified Broth System.  American Society for Microbiology Microbe.  June 17 - 20, 2016 

D`Amico, D.J. and C.W. Donnelly.  2014. Microbiological Assessment and Intervention to Mitigate Environmental Contamination and Listeria monocytogenes Risk in Artisan Cheese Facilities. Journal of Food Protection. 77 (suppl.):189-190.


Invited Presentations

“Food Safety: A Conversation”. Deep Dive session presented at the 2015 annual conference of the American Cheese Society.  Providence, RI.  August 1, 2015.

“Managing Listeria monocytogenes in artisan and farmstead cheese production.”  Presented at the 2014 annual Science of Artisan Cheese conference.  Somerset, UK. August 19, 2014. 

“Pathogen Control for Cheesemakers Utilizing Unpasteurized Milk”. Presented at the 2014 International Association for Food Protection annual meeting. Indianapolis, Indiana.  August 6, 2014. 

“FSMA Updates”. Presented at the 2014 annual conference of the American Cheese Society.  Sacramento, California.  July 31, 2014. 

“Aging Artisan Cheese on Wood”. 2014.  Presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials.  Kansas City, Missouri. July 15, 2014. 

American Academy of Microbiology. Colloquium: The Microbiology of Cheese. June 11, 2014.  Washington, D.C. 

“Hygiene and Food Safety for Artisan Cheesemaking.”  Full day training workshop. Regional workshops presented across the US with more than 500 attendees since August 2012. 

“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.


Hobbies/ Non-Academic Interests

With my free time I like to spend time with my family and pets (3 dogs and a rabbit).  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: 11/18/2016 3:10:17

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