Luke F. LaBorde, Ph.D.

Luke F. LaBorde, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Food Science and Extension Specialist
442 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Tracking Listeria monocytogenes in produce production and processing environments
  • Food safety validation of mushroom growing, packing, and processing.
  • L. monocytogenes in tree fruit packinghouses.
  • Farm food safety (Good Agricultural Practices) training
  • Hazards Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls training
  • Technical assistance to home and commercial food processors
  • Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)


  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Food Science, Ph.D.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Food Science, M.S.
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Botany, B.S.

Featured Web Pages

Research (30%)

  • Post-harvest control of Listeria in tree fruit packinghouses
  • Quality and safety of fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms

Extension (70%)

  • Quality and safety of fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for fresh produce and mushroom growers
  • HACCP based food safety and sanitation programs for fruit, vegetable, and mushroom processors
  • Technical assistance to food entrepreneurs
  • Acidified canned food processing
  • Home food preservation


Some articles available at

Selected Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Fitzgerald, A. S., Gilbert-Eckman, A., Demmings, E. M., Fitzsimmons, J., Kinchla, A. J., Richard, N., Seddon, D., LaBorde, L. F., Newbold, E. J. 2024. Understanding the Food Safety Needs of Small and Very Small Processors in the Northeast United States: Food Safety Communicator and Regulator Perspectives. Food Protection Trends 44(3), 160-181. DOI:

Rolon, L.M., Voloshchuk, O., Bartlett, K., LaBorde, L. F., Kovac, J. 2024. Multi-species biofilms of environmental microbiota isolated from fruit.  packing facilities promoted tolerance of Listeria monocytogenes to benzalkonium chloride. NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes. Accepted for publication January 6, 2024.

Rolon, L. M., Tan, X., Chung, T., Gonzalez-Escalona, N., Yi, C., Macarisin, D., LaBorde, L. F., Kovac, J. 2023. The composition of environmental microbiota in three tree fruit packing facilities changed over seasons and contained taxa indicative of L. monocytogenes contamination. BMC Microbiome 11(6), 24. DOI:

Sinclair, P., Rolon, M. L., Feng, J., Padín-López, A. F., LaBorde, L.F., Kovac, J. 2022. The ability of two lactic acid bacteria strains to inhibit L. monocytogenes in a monoculture and in an environmental microbiome context. Microbiology Spectrum. 19 July 2022.

Chen, Y., Simonetti, T., Peter, K., Jin, Q., Zhang, G., Brown, E., LaBorde, L. F., & Macarisin, D. 2022. Genetic diversity of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from three commercial tree fruit packinghouses and evidence of persistent and transient contamination. Frontiers in Microbiology, Section Food Microbiology, 12(article 756688), 15.

LaBorde LF, Stoltzfus JH, Thorn K. 2021. Farm Food Safety Training for Amish Produce Growers Covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 2021. Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies 9(2): 151-64

Simonetti T, Peter K, Jin Q, Chen Y, Zhang G, LaBorde L. F., Macarisin D. 2021. Prevalence and distribution of Listeria monocytogenes in three commercial tree fruit packinghouses. Front. Microbiol. 12 (2021) 652708.

Tobin HM, Lele SR, Cutter CN, Anantheswaran RC, LaBorde L. F.. 2020. Hot water sanitization of a commercial mushroom disk slicer to inactivate Listeria monocytogenes. Food Control. March, 106900. 10 June 2021.

LaBorde L. F., 2020. The Hazard Analysis Risk-Based Preventive Controls. 2020. In: Chapter 10. Food Safety Engineering. Demirci, A., Feng, H., Krishnamurthy, K. (Eds.) Springer, Cham. May 28, 2020. pp 205-226.

Tan X., Chung T, Chen Y, Macarisin D, LaBorde L, Kovac J. 2019. The occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes is associated with built environment microbiota in three tree fruit processing facilities. Microbiome. Volume 7, Article number: 115

Nayak R, Ewing J, Yoder E, LaBorde LF. 2018. Farm Science Centre and On-Farm Food Safety Training in India: Perspectives of Programme Coordinators. Journal of Global Communication. 11(2) 128:-138.

Draper AD, Doores SD, Gourama H, LaBorde LF. 2016. Microbial survey of Pennsylvania surface water used for irrigating produce crops. Journal of Food Protection. 79(6):902-912.

Murugesan L, Kucerova Z, Knabel SJ, LaBorde LF. 2015. Predominance and distribution of a persistent Listeria monocytogenes clone in a commercial fresh mushroom processing environment. Journal of Food Protection. 78(11):1988-1998. https://doi:10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-195

Nayak R, Tobin D, Thomson J, Radhakrishna R, LaBorde LF. 2015. Evaluation of on-farm food safety programming in Pennsylvania: Implications for Extension. Journal of Extension. February 26, 2015. Link to article.

Kokkinidou S, Floros JD, LaBorde LF. 2014. Kinetics of the thermal degradation of patulin in the presence of ascorbic acid. Journal of Food Science. 79(1):T108-T114.

Tikekar RV, Anantheswaran RC, LaBorde LF. 2014. Patulin degradation in a model apple juice system and in apple juice during ultraviolet processing. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 38(3):924-934.

Weil J, Beelman RB, Cutter CN, LaBorde LF. 2013. Inactivation of human pathogens during Phase II composting of manure-based mushroom growth substrate. Journal of Food Protection. 76(8):1393-1400.

Viswanath P, Murugesan L, Knabel SJ, Verghese B, Chikthimmah N, LaBorde LF. 2013. Incidence of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria spp. in a small-scale mushroom production facility. Journal of Food Protection. 76(4):608-615. https://doi:10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-292

Tobin D, Thomson J, LaBorde L, Radhakrishna, R. 2013. Factors affecting growers' on-farm food safety practices: Evaluation findings from Penn State Extension programming. Journal of Food Control. 31(1):73-80.

LaBorde LF and Pecchia J. 2012. Effect of irrigation water nitrate levels on post-harvest mushroom nitrates. Mushroom News. 60(11):4-11. November 2012. 

Tobin D, Thomson J, LaBorde L, Radhakrishna, R. 2012. Mixed-mode surveys: A strategy to reduce costs and enhance response rates. Journal of Extension. 50(6) 6TOT8. December 2012. [Available online]

Tobin D, Thomson J, LaBorde L. 2012. Consumer perceptions of produce safety: A study of Pennsylvania. Food Control. 26(2):305-312.

Tikekar RV, Anantheswaran RC, Elias RJ, LaBorde LF. 2011. Ultraviolet-induced oxidation of ascorbic acid in a model juice system: Identification of degradation products. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 59(15):8244-8.

Tikekar R, Anantheswaran RC, LaBorde LF. 2011. Ascorbic acid degradation in a model apple juice system and in apple juice during ultraviolet light processing and storage. Journal of Food Science 76(2):H62-H71.

Tobin D, Thomson J, LaBorde L, Bagdonis J. 2011. Developing GAP Training for Growers: Perspectives from Pennsylvania Supermarkets. Journal of Extension. Web-based 49(5) 5RIB7. October 2011. [Link]

LaBorde LF. 2010. “Controlling Food Safety Hazards in the Vegetable Industry – The HACCP Approach" In: Handbook of Vegetables and Vegetable Processing. Chapter 22. pp. 443-460. Ed. Nirmal KA. Wiley-Blackwell.

Tikekar R, LaBorde LF, Anantheswaran RC. 2010. “Fruit Juices - Ultraviolet Light Processing" In: Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering. Second Edition. 1:(1), 675-680.Taylor and Francis Group.

Nieto-Montenegro S, Brown JL, LaBorde LF. 2008. Development and assessment of pilot food safety educational materials and training strategies for Hispanic workers in the mushroom industry using the Health Action Model. Food Control 19:616–633.

Chikthimmah N, LaBorde LF, Beelman RB. 2007. The effect of washing and slicing operations on the survival behavior of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Sp. in fresh mushrooms during postharvest storage. Mushroom News. 55(9):4-13.

Okull DO, Demirci A, Rosenberger D, LaBorde LF. 2006. Susceptibility of Penicillium expansum spores to sodium hypochlorite, electrolyzed oxidizing water and chlorine dioxide solutions modified with non-ionic surfactants. Journal of Food Protection, 69(8):1944–1948.

Nieto-Montenegro S, Brown JL, LaBorde LF. 2006. Using the Health Action Model to plan food safety educational materials for Hispanic workers in the mushroom industry. Food Control 17:757–767.

Fenton GD, LaBorde LF, Radhakrishna RB, Brown JL, Cutter CN. 2006. Comparison of knowledge and attitudes using computer-based and face-to-face personal hygiene training methods in food processing facilities. Journal of Food Science Education. 5:45-50.

Fatemi P, Knabel SJ, LaBorde LF, Patton J, Annous B, Sapers GM. 2006. Influence of punctures, cuts and apple surface morphologies on penetration and growth of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Journal of Food Protection. 69(2):267–275.

Chikthimmah N, LaBorde LF, Beelman RB. 2005. Hydrogen peroxide and calcium chloride added to irrigation water as a strategy to reduce bacterial populations and improve quality of fresh mushrooms. Journal of Food Science. 70(6):M 273-278.

Nieto-Montenegro S, Brown JL, LaBorde LF. 2004. Evaluating food safety needs in the food industry using a "Worker-Experience Protocol". Food Protection Trends 24(9):676-681.

Okull DO, LaBorde LF. 2004. Activity of electrolyzed oxidizing water against Penicillium expansum in suspension and on wounded apples. Journal of Food Science (69)1 FMS 23-27.

Outreach Publications

LaBorde L.F. 2017. Validating thermal sanitization of mushroom disk slicing equipment. Mushroom News. 65(9). September 2017.

LaBorde L.F. 2016. FSMA produce safety and preventive controls regulations: How do they apply to your operation? Mushroom News. 64(9). September 2016. 

LaBorde L.F. 2015. Doubling down on efforts to eradicate Listeria monocytogenes from slicing and packaging environments. Mushroom News. 63(9). September 2015. 

LaBorde L.F. 2014. Validating the effectiveness of thermal sanitization treatments for eliminating Listeria monocytogenes from mushroom slicing equipment. Mushroom News. 62(9). September 2014. 

LaBorde L.F. 2013. Impact of FDA Produce Safety Standards on Mushroom Substrate Composting. Mushroom News. 61(9):10-14. September 2013. 

Bucknavage, M, LaBorde LF. 2012. Lessons Learned from the Recent Cantaloupe Outbreak. Mushroom News. 60(2):4-7. February 2012. 

O'Patchen R, LaBorde LF. 2012. Dark and Light Peat Casing Soils Suppress Populations of Listeria and Salmonella. Mushroom News. 59(1):8-10. January 2012. 

LaBorde LF, 2010. Mushroom Good Agricultural Practices Program Industry-Wide Food Safety Standards for Fresh Mushroom Growing, Harvesting, and Shipping. Available online on the American Mushroom Institute (AMI) web site at

LaBorde LF. 2010. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Information from Penn State Now on the Web. Pennsylvania Fruit News. State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania. 90(10):20. December 2010. 

LaBorde LF. 2010. "Maintaining the Safety of Pennsylvania Apples and Apple Products". In: The Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Production Guide. Chapter VIII. 2010-2011 edition. pp. 249-260. (updated biennually)

LaBorde LF. 2010. "Cider Production - Managing Quality and Safety from Orchard to Bottle". In: The Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Production Guide. Chapter VII. 2010-2011 edition. pp. 275-286. (updated biennually)

Chikthimmah N, Beelman RB, LaBorde LF. 2008. Sphagnum Peat Mushroom Casing Soils. Mushroom News 56(8):4-9. August 2008. 

LaBorde LF. 2008. Farm Food Safety – An Emerging Issue for the Retail Food Industry. Legislative Watch. p. 2. Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and the Pennsylvania Convenience Store Council. April 2008. 

LaBorde LF, Doores S. 2007. Quality and safety of pasteurized cider held at retail display at room temperature. Pennsylvania Fruit News. State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania. 87(2):65-70. State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania. 

Nieto-Montenegro S, Brown JL, LaBorde LF. 2007. The Mushroom Industry Food Safety Training Kit. Training modules for harvesters and handlers of mushrooms. In English and Spanish. 159 pages.

LaBorde LF. 2007. Good Agricultural Practices for Pennsylvania Fruit and Vegetable Growers. General guidance adapted from “Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Program - Policy and Instructions Handbook". USDA Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service. Fruit and Vegetable Programs. Fresh Products Branch. Penn State University Department of Food Science. Available at Farm Food Safety Website.

LaBorde LF., 2006 "Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Mushroom Growing and Packing Environments". Mushroom News. 54(11): 21-26 (Available online)

Chikthimmah N, RB Beelman, LF LaBorde. 2006. Sphagnum peat-based casing soils do not permit the survival of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella sp. Mushroom News. 54(9): 6-13 (Available online)

Funding Sources

2016- 2018. USDA NIFA Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program. Development of an alternative FSMA compliant curriculum for plain sect and other smaller fresh produce growers. LaBorde LF, Stolzfus J. $163,085. 

2014 - 2016. Giorgi Mushroom Company Fund for Mushroom Research/American Mushroom Institute. Validating the effectiveness of thermal sanitization treatments for eliminating Listeria monocytogenes from mushroom slicing equipment. LaBorde LF, Anantheswarn RC. $76,998.

2012 -2013. USDA Specialty Block Grant Program/ PA Dept. of Agric. Microbial Food Safety Interventions to Prevent Surface Water Contamination of Pennsylvania Specialty Crops, LaBorde LF, Orzolek M. $33,920.

2011-2013. Giorgi Mushroom Company Fund for Mushroom Research/American Mushroom Institute. Tracking Listeria monocytogenes throughout the mushroom production system and implementation of effective intervention strategies to prevent product contamination LaBorde LF, Knabel, SK. $94,135.

2012-2013. USDA Specialty Crops Block Grants. Good Agricultural Practices Training and Support for Pennsylvania Fresh Produce Growers. LaBorde LF. $30,000.

2011-2013. USDA Specialty Crops Block Grants. Expanding Cooperative Extension Farm Food Safety Training. LaBorde L, Sanchez E, Thomson J. $54,872.

2009 -2012. USDA Specialty Crops Block Grants. Microbial Survey of Pennsylvania Surface Water used for Specialty Crop Irrigation and Development of Sampling and Handling Procedures for Surface Water Testing. LaBorde L, Doores S, Gourama H. Jayaro B. $87,441.

2009-2011. Giorgi Mushroom Company Fund for Mushroom Research. Microbial Ecology of Casing Soils and Food Safety Interventions to Reduce Mushroom Contamination Risks. LaBorde LF, Chikthimmah N, Royse D. $75,684


Professional Experience

2014 -present. Professor. Pennsylvania State University Department of Food Science. University Park, Pennsylvania

2004 - 2014. Associate Professor. Pennsylvania State University Department of Food Science. University Park, Pennsylvania

1998 - 2004. Assistant Professor. Pennsylvania State University Department of Food Science. University Park, Pennsylvania

1996 - 1998. Research Chemist. Canandaigua Wine Company, Madera, California. Basic and applied research directed towards the development of new products and processes from grape juice and grape by-products.

1993 - 1996. Research Associate. Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin. Laboratory methods and process development aimed at improving the quality of processed vegetables.