Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Siroj Pokharel, Ph.D.

Siroj Pokharel, Ph.D.

Office:  Bldg 10, Rm 139

Phone:  (805) 756-7134




  • Postdoctoral Scholar – Pennsylvania State University – State College, PA – 2018
  • Ph.D. – Food Safety & Microbiology – Texas Tech University – Lubbock, TX – 2016
  • M.S. – Meat Science & Muscle Biology – University of Nebraska Lincoln – Lincoln, NE, – 2011
  • B.V.Sc. & A.H. – Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry 
    Tribhuvan University – Chitwan, Nepal – 2007 

Research interest:

Dr. Pokharel is a meat science and food safety specialist. He earned a Ph.D. in food safety and microbiology under Professor Mindy Brashears at Texas Tech University in 2016 and a master’s degree in meat science and muscle biology under Chris Calkins at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2011. Before joining Cal Poly, Pokharel worked with Professor Catherine Cutter as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Food Science at Pennsylvania State University.

Pokharel has conducted meat quality research projects while working on his master’s degree at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Some of his research focused on intramuscular tenderness and muscle fiber orientation of various cuts. While pursuing his doctoral degree at Texas Tech University, Pokharel evaluated the thermal stability and translocation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC), non-O157 STECs and Salmonella in marinated or needle injected, non-intact meat products. He conducted several post-harvest intervention research projects to reduce pathogen contamination in several varieties of meat. As a postdoctoral scholar at Penn State, Pokharel taught food safety regulatory courses and conducted international research projects involving human subjects. The projects involved were the development and delivery of a Food Safety Systems Management curriculum to Agribusiness students in Yerevan, Armenia, and needs assessment of practices and procedures in African food safety testing laboratories. 

Research areas:

  1. Developing new intervention strategies to mitigate foodborne pathogens in pre- and post-harvest environment of different food commodities including meat and poultry products.
  2. Develop techniques to reduce the transmission of foodborne pathogens in the food supply chain.
  3. Evaluate the social cognitive response of an individual related to knowledge, attitude, behavior, and skill towards food safety practices.

Selected Publications:

  1. Pokharel, J. E. Marcy, A. Neilan, and C. N. Cutter. Development, Dissemination, and Assessment of a Food Safety Systems Management Curriculum for Agribusiness Students in Armenia. Journal of Food Science Education 16 (4) 107-117. doi:10.1111/1541-4329.12122.
  2. Pokharel, R. Machado, C. N. Cutter. Comprehensive Needs Assessment of Practices and Procedures in East African Food Safety Testing Laboratories. Journal of Food Protection Trends.
  3. Byron D. Chaves, Siroj Pokharel, Alejandro Echeverry, Jessie L. Vipham, Markus F. Miller, and Mindy M. Brashears. Effect of Fat Content on the Microbiological Profile of Beef Trimmings. Journal of Food Protection Trend 37 (6) 403-408.
  4. Pokharel, J. C. Brooks, J. N. Martin, and M. M. Brashears. 2016. Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Internalization of Salmonella Typhimurium in Vacuum Tumbled Marinated Beef Products. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 63 (6) 412-418. doi:10.1111/lam.12663.
  5. Pokharel, J. C. Brooks, J. N. Martin, A. Echeverry, A. R. Parks, B. Corliss, M. M. Brashears. 2015. Internalization and Thermal Susceptibility of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Marinated Beef products. Journal of Meat Science. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2016.02.016.
  6. B. Corliss, J C Brooks, J N Martin, A. Echeverry, A. R. Parks, S. Pokharel, M. M. Brashears. 2015. The Influence of Beef Quality Characteristics on the Internalization and Thermal. Susceptibility of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Blade-Tenderized Beef Steaks. Journal of Meat Science, 110: 85-92. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.06.014.

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