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Lillian G. Occeña-Po

Occeña-Po, Lillian G.
Faculty Photo
Contact Information:
Home University:

University of Missouri
Department of Food Science
256 WC Stringer Wing, Eckles Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

University Profile

Program involvement
Food Safety & Defense Graduate Certificate - Instructor


Lillian G. Occeña-Po is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She obtained her doctorate in food science from Michigan State University. She has been involved in the area of food safety for the past 19 years and has focused on ethnic food safety for 14 of those years.

She developed and teaches a graduate online course titled Ethnic Foods: Food Safety and Food Protection/Defense Challenges. She was co-instructor of the graduate course on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) for Michigan State University's online professional master's degree in food safety. She developed and taught the FSMA component of this course from 2015-2018. She updated the HACCP and FSMA Modules and taught the full course in 2019. She has also developed training curricula and food safety programs, as well as educational resources targeting diverse audiences. One such resource is "A Food Safety Inspector's Guide to Ethnic Foods in Michigan: Mexican and Asian Foods" designed for food inspectors in the U.S. For these various initiatives, she received Michigan State University’s Extension Diversity Award in 2007.

Dr. Occeña-Po is HACCP certified and also a certified HACCP Instructor from the Train-the-Trainers program. In addition, she is certified in thermal processing systems for low-acid and acidified canned foods under the Better Process Control Schools.

She continues to focus her food expertise in helping micro, small, and medium-scale food enterprises in the areas of food safety and protection, food processing, and total quality management/statistical process control. She is a strong advocate in the promotion of sustainable, value-added food chains in traditional, production-oriented agriculture in developing conditions.


Research Fellowship, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1997-1998
Ph.D. in Food Science, Michigan State University, 1994
M.S. in Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, 1984
B.S. in Food Technology, University of the Philippines, 1978