Dr. Darin Detwiler is the Assistant Dean of Graduate Academic and Faculty Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He is also the Lead Academic of the MS in Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industry and Professor of Food Policy. In addition to being the Founder and President of Detwiler Consulting Group, LLC, Dr. Detwiler serves as the Executive Vice President for Public Health at the International Food Authenticity Assurance Organization. Dr. Detwiler serves on numerous committees and advisory panels related to food science, nutrition, fraud, and policy.  

In 2004, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed Detwiler to two terms on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's national advisory committee for meat and poultry inspection. He later advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Senior Policy Coordinator for a leading national food safety advocacy organization, where his committee work and presentations supported the FDA’s progress towards implementation of Food Safety Modernization Act by bringing forward the true burden of disease to various federal, state, and industry audiences.

He is a sought-after speaker and has addressed key issues in food safety at corporate and regulatory training events, as well as national and international events in Spain, Dubai, and the UK. He has been featured as a speaker before VTEC, STEC CAP, Food Safety Summit, Conference for Food Protection, National Food Policy Conference, AFDO regional events, FDA regional seminars, and multiple state public and environmental health conferences.

Detwiler is a contributing writer to numerous food industry publications and is quoted frequently by journalists across the country. A consumer food safety advocate since his son’s death from E.coli during the landmark 1993 “Jack-in-the-Box” outbreak, Detwiler has been featured in a variety of national news stories on food safety with media such as The New York Times, Food Safety News, CNN, NPR, PBS’s Frontline, CNBC, and ABC’s Good Morning America. A Navy submarine veteran, Detwiler holds a Doctorate in Law and Policy at Northeastern University with his research on state food regulatory capacity and alignment with federal policy.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Darin Detwiler about:

  • How his son's unexpected death led to an unplanned career in food policy and food safety
  • The positive policy changes and technological advancements the food industry has seen in the Jack in the Box outbreak in 1993
  • The difference between the 1993 outbreak and Chipotle's recent food safety issues
  • Pushback he experienced from the food industry when speaking out about his son's death and Jack in the Box's negligence
  • The importance of the food industry understanding that their mistakes have a lasting impact on thousands of lives
  • Working to make E. coli a common household term that consumers know, understand and ultimately prevent
  • The lack of food safety focus in schools
  • The evolution and trajectory of the food safety career path

We also speak with Marianne Gravely (USDA) and Hilary Thesmar (FMI) about:

  • How industry can support the importance of the "Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill" concept as consumers head into the Thanksgiving holiday
  • How consumers can prevent cross-contamination when grocery shopping for meat and poultry products
  • Messaging and concepts that retailers should be educating consumers about
  • The most frequently asked questions submitted to the USDA's Meat & Poultry Hotline
  • Educational materials and resources available to both retailers and consumers 

About Marianne Gravely
Marianne joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Meat and Poultry Hotline staff in 1988. As the senior technical information specialist, she provides consumers with safe food handling guidance daily through phone, live-chat and email inquiries and is one of the persons behind the USDA virtual representative “Ask Karen” answering food safety questions. She also researches and writes materials for the Food Safety Inspection Service website, and handles media inquiries.Marianne has a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics with an emphasis in foods and nutrition from Hood College in Frederick, MD. She received her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Tech. 

About Hilary Thesmar
In her role as the chief food and product safety officer and senior vice president of food safety programs for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Dr. Thesmar provides leadership for all safety programs for FMI’s retail and wholesale members and provides support for members on food safety training programs, FSMA training, recall plans and management, crisis management, research, and overall safety and sanitation programs. Dr. Thesmar has a Ph.D. in Food Technology from Clemson University, a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University, a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from Clemson, and she is a Registered Dietitian. She has over a decade of experience in scientific and regulatory affairs with food trade associations. 

Darin Detwiler's Articles Published by Food Safety Magazine:
Food Safety: A Century of Warnings

Related Content and Resources:
Jack in the Box: Fostering Food Safety Through Great Partnering
Food Safety & the CEO: Keys to Bottom Line Success
Why Don't We Learn from Our Mistakes?
VIDEO: Jack in the Box E. coli Outbreak
VIDEO: Northeastern University's Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries
FightBac--Partnership for Food Safety Education
Ask Karen
USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline: 800-535-4555
Requests for bulk food safety reading/educational materials can be sent to fsis.outreach@fsis.usda.gov

News Mentioned in This Episode
New Study Pinpoints Source of Salmonella in Ground Turkey
American Airlines Stood Along in Suspending LAX Catering Kitchen Over Listeria Find

Do you have questions or guest suggestions for the Food Safety Matters podcast? Let us know!
You can leave us a voicemail anytime at 747-231-7630. You can also email us at podcast@food-safety.com