Melanie Neumann is the president of Neumann Risk Services, and executive vice president of Matrix Sciences—a firm that focuses on food safety risk management, business and brand protection, regulatory compliance, and industry best practices. Melanie leverages her 19 years of industry experience as a food law attorney along with her Masters of Science in Food Safety to help clients manage the risks relating to each step in the supply chain, from supplier assessment and procurement, manufacturing, distribution and sale of food globally. 

She is a graduate of Mitchell-Hamline Law School for her Juris Doctorate degree, and Michigan State University for her M.S. in Food Safety. She has worked for multi-national food companies such as Hormel Foods, The Schwan Food Company, private law firms focusing on food law and intellectual property law, was instrumental in launching national food safety risk management practices for one of the “Big 4” tax and auditing firms as well as for other well-known consulting firms.

She is an Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University and serves on advisory panels and boards of several notable organizations.  Melanie is a frequent speaker on executive liability in food production and food regulations including FSMA regulations. Outside of her profession, Melanie is an avid triathlete, to date completing 25 marathons and six Ironman triathlons.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Melanie Neumann about:

  • The level of difficulty involved when it comes to food companies having to implement FSMA
  • The difference between understanding a regulation vs. implementing it vs. operationalizing it

  • How much legal interpretation is really required to understand how to properly implement FSMA

  • Melanie’s view of how FDA regulators and food companies are working together during inspections in the beginning stages of FSMA

  • The importance of explaining the "why" behind FSMA regulations, why they exist, and why behaviors in the food facility need to change

  • FSMA's effect on global food companies

  • How FSMA stacks up against ISO, GFSI and international standards in general

  • What happens during an FDA inspection if a QA manager or food safety staff member cannot answer questions accurately or knowledgeably

  • The number one factor that causes a food plant to be non-compliant with some part of a FSMA rule or regulation

  • How poor records management can make or break a food company, and the benefits of electronic record-keeping

  • What's involved in a readiness assessment? 

  • Crisis management planning and after-action assessments

  • Melanie's thoughts on mock recalls and crisis simulations

  • Why food companies can no longer afford to ignore social media and what people are saying about their products

News Mentioned in This Episode
Update: Romaine Lettuce Named as Source of Multistate E. coli Outbreak 
Over 200 Million Eggs Recalled After East Coast Salmonella Outbreak 
Salmonella Outbreak Traced to North Carolina Leads to Largest Egg Recall in Nearly a Decade
Study: Expensive Foodborne Outbreaks Could Be Prevented If Sick Employees Are Given Adequate Sick Time 
2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists Rank Produce Items by Pesticide Level

Bob Ferguson's Food Safety Insights Articles
Sanitation Verification for Allergen Control (April/May 2018)
Testing and Sanitation for Allergen Control (February/March 2018) 
Outsourcing: Pathogen Testing under the Microscope (December 2017/January 2018)
The New Face of Sanitation Programs: New Rules, New Challenges (October/November 2017)
A Closer Look at Environmental Monitoring in the Processing Plant (August/September 2017)
What Industry and FDA Are Thinking About FSMA Implementation (June/July 2017)
The Drivers of Differences in Food Safety Testing Practices (April/May 2017)
A Look at the Microbiology Testing Market (February/March 2017)

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