Center for Meat Safety & Quality

The CSU Center for Meat Safety & Quality Program actively conducts and publishes applied industry research addressing significant and timely issues related to the global competitiveness of red meats. We prioritize our research efforts in:

  • Red meat safety
  • Meat product quality
  • Meat export
  • Emerging international markets

We regularly collaborate with industry, and regulatory agencies to ensure our work benefits consumers worldwide.

Current Research Projects

Meat and Meat Product Safety


Pathogen Detection

We use classical and innovative approaches to monitor, identify, and characterize foodborne pathogens on meat and meat products.

Feedlot and Processing Plant Environment

Determine prevalence and characterize pathogenic bacteria in livestock animals, their production environments, and meat and agricultural processing facilities.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Utilize innovative approaches to understand the underpinnings of antimicrobial resistance in livestock production and meat processing.

Meat Quality


Quality Maintenance and Shelf-Life

Identify strategies to maintain the quality and enhance the shelf-life of meat and meat products.

Genetics and Nutrition on Meat Quality

Assess and characterize the role of genetics, nutrition, and production strategies on meat product quality, palatability, and shelf-life.

Consumer Palatability

Comprehensive evaluation of consumer perceptions on the palatability of meat and meat products.

More Collaborative Research Projects

  • Food safety assistance for small meat and poultry processors through development and implementation of industry best practices
  • Comparison of United States and European Union meat inspection and plant sanitation systems and regulations
  • Development of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems for assurance of meat safety by packers and processors
  • Identification of procedures and interventions to prevent contamination of beef products with prions of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
  • Evaluation of chemical decontamination treatments for meat products against E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and antibiotic resistant and susceptible
  • Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Newport; Evaluation of the effectiveness of FreshCase® technology to extend the shelf-life of whole muscle pork, ground pork sausage, muscle beef and ground beef
  • Use of a high throughput screening approach to identify novel chemical compounds that control foodborne pathogens and evaluation of these compounds to reduce pathogens in foods
  • Development of USDA performance standards
  • Nutrient database improvement research – analysis of collected rib and plate cuts, beef loin and round cuts, as well as quantifying the “aging response” for muscles of the beef round
  • Comparison of beef carcass grade standards and application among the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Uruguay
  • Direct and indirect contacts among livestock operations in Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico as potential transmitters of Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Relationships of USDA camera-based quality grades to beef palatability attributes; Colorado beef quality assurance program.


JBS center

JBS Global Food Innovation Center

The JBSGFIC is home to a number of CMSQ programs including:

Nutrien Building

Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building

Our newest facility houses multiple laboratories and teaching facilities.




Ram Country Meats

Our student run market offering quality meats and specialty items.

Meat Judging Team Catering Service

Our student run catering service offers service for 30 to 800+ people.

Pet Food Alliance

We work on current issues related to the pet food and rendering industries. Our group meets annually to share ideas and advance working group projects.

Beef Sticks for Backpacks

Colorado program supporting kids who face food insecurity.

Collaborative Projects

The CMSQ team works with cattlemen, cattle feeders, meat packers, processors and retailers on issues related to foreign animal disease, meatborne pathogens, quality/palatability/shelf-life, value-determining characteristics, export-market access, traceability and meat-waste disposal. Our industry and government collaborations include:

  • National Pork Board, National Meat Association
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • Southwest Meat Association
  • American Meat Science Association
  • National Institute for Animal Agriculture
  • American Association of Meat Processors
  • National Renderers Association
  • U.S. Meat Export Federation
  • FDA-USDHHS and American Meat Institute

Leaders and Advisors in National Food Safety

Our team is active in several food safety advisory roles:

  • Food Safety Communicators for the Institute of Food Technologists
  • IFT Extension Division leadership
  • National Good Agricultural Practices Program
  • Produce Safety Alliance Collaborators
  • Colorado School of Public Health adjunct faculty
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • National Centers for Excellence in Food Safety
  • Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council board members

International Communicators

We’ve shared our research and expertise in meat safety and food borne pathogens to producers worldwide. We have visited over 20 countries as members of U.S. trade Teams, including:

  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Brazil
  • Europe
  • Russia
  • Egypt
  • Vietnam
  • Japan, South Korea
  • Mexico
  • Taiwan
  • China 

Innovative Technology Development

Our team developed a testing protocol demonstrating safety (freedom from central nervous system tissue) of U.S. beef relative to Specified Risk Material removal in U.S. beef packing plants is used throughout the world.

Our Industry Partners and Collaborators

Our primary goal is to assure that consumers have access to a dependable supply of safe and high quality meat and other food products. We partner with a number of leading companies and organizations to meet our primary goal

American Meat InstituteAmerican Sheep Industry AssociationCargill, Inc.JBSHarris Ranch Beef CompanyNorth American Meat AssociationNational BeefNational Cattlemen’s Beef AssociationNolan Ryan’s BeefPork CheckoffNational Pork Producers Council |Tyson Foods, Inc.

Contact the CMSQ Team

Keith E. Belk

(970) 491-5826

Robert Delmore

(970) 491-7093

Lynn Delmore

Lily Edwards-Callaway

Temple Grandin

(970) 491-0243

Gina Geornaras

(970) 491-7128

Kyle Harrington

Global Food Innovation Center Operations Manager

Jennifer Martin

Associate Professor
(970) 491-8381

Jessica Metcalf

Mahesh N. Nair

Associate Professor
(970) 491-5622

Jessica Prenni

Peipein Zhang

Assistant Professor