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Occeña-Po, Lillian G.
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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 Online 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, 14 of which have been focused on ethnic food safety.

Occeña-Po developed and teaches a graduate online course titled Ethnic Foods: Food Safety and Food Protection/Defense Challenges. She was co-instructor of the online 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 from 2015-2018, developing and teaching the FSMA component. 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, including "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.

She 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. Dr. Occeña-Po 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