Photo of Carl Custer

Carl Custer is an independent consultant for food safety microbiology. He retired from USDA FSIS in 2007 after over 34 years as a bench and a desk scientist.  The food safety issues he worked on include:

Inhibition of Clostridium botulinum,

Inhibiting nitrosamine formation,

Analysis and inactivation of Trichinella spiralis,

Physics and microbiology of cooling heated foods,

Thermal and non-thermal inactivation of bacterial pathogens in traditional and ethnic foods,

Predictive microbiology

The microbiology and safety of fermented and dry-cured meat products,

HACCP development and implementation for both processing and slaughter


These issues included developing the scientific basis for regulatory policy development and rule promulgation.

Carl also served as a trainer for FSIS inspectors, the FSIS Hotline, retail processors and inspectors, small farm processors, and country ham processors.

Carl is a lifetime member of the International Food Protection Association (IAFP) and the American Society for Microbiology.  He was also a member of the Food Microbiology Research Conference executive board for twelve years and the Chair for two years.

Carl started his Food Microbiology career in 1966 as a technician then as graduate student for Dr. Carl Vanderzant at Texas A&M.  Projects included dairy, meat, and seafood microbiology.

Carl’s hobbies included cooking, gardening, woodworking, and motorcycle touring on one of his four vintage Honda motorcycles.

One of the arguments against attempts to control Salmonella is that it is naturally occurring and impossible to eradicate. According to several scientific studies, that is not true. During 1978-1981, B.S. Pomeroy at the University of Minnesota grew Salmonella-free turkeys primarily by selecting Salmonella-free hatchlings, feeding Salmonella-free feed and isolating
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The genus Salmonella is diverse. Currently there are three recognized species: S. enterica, S. bongori and S. subterranean, with S. enterica the most important specie affecting human and food animal health. However, even the species S. enterica is diverse. Unlike most bacterial genera, Salmonella is best known by the Kauffman-White
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