Jorge Hernandez is the chief food safety and compliance officer for Wholesome International, a restaurant company with different concepts and brands in the quick and fast casual foodservice markets in the U.S. He is responsible for food safety, quality, regulatory compliance, and sustainability for the organization. This includes developing structure and reporting lines for the staff, risk-based policies and procedures that meet or exceed FDA, USDA, and/or state regulations, as well as the department leadership and oversight over the company’s suppliers, restaurants, processing facilities, and distribution.
Previously, Hernandez worked for 12 years as the senior vice president for food safety and quality assurance at US Foods where he developed the food safety, quality, and food regulatory program for a corporation that included more than 80 distribution centers, 14 processing facilities, and over 550 private label co-packers with 1,600 facilities across all segments of the food industry.
Earlier, Jorge was the vice president of food safety and risk management at the National Restaurant Association where he led the development of the award-winning ServSafe food safety training program for the restaurant industry.
Jorge started his career as a regulator and held positions at the state and the Winnebago County health departments in Illinois, U.S. He has earned degrees in biology from Rockford University, microbiology from the Centro de Estudios Medico-Biologicos in Mexico City Mexico, and languages and literature from la Universite de la Sorbonne, Paris, France.
Jorge is the board member of several industry organizations, including STOP Foodborne, the International Food Protection Institute, and GFSI, where he co-leads the development of the International Standards for the Food Warehouse and Distribution and is currently the co-chair of the GFSI U.S./Canada Group.
Hernandez has published many articles and is a recognized consultant in the areas of food safety, food safety management systems, food safety accreditation, food safety training, and food safety operations.