Gragg, Sara

Gragg, Sara
Associate Professor
209 Call Hall

Research Interests

Food safety & food microbiology

  • Pre-harvest and post-harvest settings (produce, meat and poultry)
  • Emphasis on reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in the food supply
  • Leafy greens
  • Meat industry, with a specific interest in beef
  • Researching the efficacy of novel interventions
  • Identification of high risk tissues and their potential association with pathogen carriage in cattle


Ph.D., Animal Science, Texas Tech University, 2012
M.S., Food Science, Texas Tech University, 2008
B.S., Food Science/Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2006

Bio Brief

Dr. Gragg earned her B.S. from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, M.S. from Texas Tech University, and her Ph.D. in Animal Science from Texas Tech University. Her interest in food science and animal science began during her service in FFA, Ag education and showing horses. Sara has enjoyed being closer to her Nebraska roots since joining the K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry in 2013. She has more than 18 years of experience in food safety research. Her research program investigates pre-harvest and post-harvest issues affecting the meat and produce industries, with specific interests addressing the manner by which pathogens contaminate food products and the application of interventions to prevent and/or reduce pathogen presence. She is particularly interested in studying the pre-harvest transmission of foodborne pathogens in food animals, as well as, investigating interventions to reduce foodborne pathogens in live animals. As an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs at K-State, she also contributes to food safety research for school foodservice programs. She teaches courses in food microbiology, global food systems and contemporary issues.

Sara’s husband, J.D., is a consultant for the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA). Together they have two children, Barrett (age 11) and Brendan (age 7).