Photo of Michele Jay-Russell

Michele Jay-Russell is a veterinarian and food safety specialist at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) at University of California, Davis. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Jay-Russell was a Research Scientist with the Food and Drug Laboratory Branch at the California Department of Public Health. In this capacity, she was involved in many environmental foodborne disease investigations including the 2006 farm investigation following the E. coli O157:H7 contamination of fresh, bagged baby spinach. In 2006-2007, she was recognized for teamwork on the spinach outbreak with a CDHS Superior Accomplishment Award, the FDA Leveraging/Collaboration Award, and the International Association of Food Protection Innovation award. Other prior work includes serving as the California State Public Health Veterinarian, and the Chief Epidemiologist for Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Jay-Russell received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine in 1992 from the University of California, Davis. She was board certified with the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 1997.

Whether urban legends, deceptive marketing, or beliefs held by raw milk proponents under a siege mentality, there are more microbiological and nutritional myths about raw milk than nearly any other food.


After reviewing the myths, I looked for information from scientists and consumer advocates and busted the Top Ten 21st

Continue Reading Raw Milk Myths — Busted

Last month’s announcement  by the Oregon Health Authority confirmed that deer droppings were the source of E. coli O157:H7 contamination in strawberry fields linked to 15 human illnesses, including one death.  These findings are not unprecedented because undercooked venison is a recognized vehicle of transmission for E. coli O157:H7.  Indeed

Continue Reading Feral in the Fields: Food Safety Risks from Wildlife