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Animal Sciences and Industry

Gragg, Sara

Gragg, SaraAssociate 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. Sara Gragg earned her Masters in Food Science, doctorate in Animal Science, and was a post-doctoral research scientist at Texas Tech University. Sara has enjoyed being closer to her Nebraska roots since joining Kansas State University in the summer of 2013. Her interest in food science and animal science began during her service in FFA, Ag education and showing horses. She earned her undergraduate degree in Food Science & Technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before moving to Texas for graduate school. Sara leads the food safety research program at the Olathe campus of Kansas State University. She has more than 17 years of experience in food safety research and has served as an assistant professor at Kansas State University for five years. Sara’s 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 Research in Child Nutrition Programs at Kansas State University, she also contributes to food safety research for school foodservice programs. Sara teaches courses in food microbiology, produce safety and food policy at Kansas State University.

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 8) and Brendan (age 4).