Bryan Hitchcock is the executive director of the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Bryan is responsible for managing and directing the GFTC, including overall leadership, strategy and governance, sales and marketing, and government, public, and industry relations.

Additionally, Bryan is IFT's principal scientific and technology leader on matters related to existing food chains and their digital transformation. His previous roles have been with PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and 3M Company. 

Bryan earned his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Bryan [26:44] about:

  • The birth of GFTC and how it was made possible with the help of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • What traceability and communication should look like within the food supply chain
  • Proactive steps food companies can take to improve their supply chain transparency and traceability
  • Four key data elements uncovered in research
  • GFTC's role in providing feedback to FDA
  • The need for more training at all levels of the food supply chain
  • Artificial intelligence and how it's been applied in agricultural farming

Pilot Projects for Improving Product Tracing along the Food Supply System - Final Report 
World Food Safety Day - World Health Organization 
World Food Safety Day - Codex Alimentarius

We also speak with Laura Allred (Gluten Intolerance Group [GIG][9:25] about:

  • The history of GIG
  • Partnering with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to establish a certification program
  • Their work in certifying products as gluten-free, not facilities
  • Unexpected sources of gluten
  • How wheat gets all the attention when it comes to gluten
  • Why there's such an increasing demand for gluten-free products
  • The reason behind GIG's recent certification mark/label update
  • Best practices for gluten-free manufacturers
  • The benefits of gluten-free certification via GIG
  • Why focusing on wheat as an allergen can be problematic
  • Upcoming research and surveys

News Mentioned in This Episode
$19M in Fines for Blue Bell; Former President Also Charged with Concealing Listeria Contamination [3:14]
Foodborne Illness is on the Rise, Says CDC [7:43]