Dr. David Acheson, is the founder and CEO of The Acheson Group and brings more than 30 years of medical and food safety research and experience to provide strategic advice as well as recall and crisis management support to food companies and ancillary technology companies on a global basis on all matters relating to food safety and food defense.
David graduated from the University of London Medical School and practiced internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United Kingdom until 1987 when he moved to the New England Medical Center and became an Associate Professor at Tufts University in Boston, studying the molecular pathogenesis of foodborne pathogens.
Prior to forming The Acheson Group, David served as the Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and then joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Chief Medical Officer at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). After serving as the director of CFSAN’s Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response, David was appointed as the Assistant and then Associate Commissioner for Foods, which provided him an agency-wide leadership role for all food and feed issues and the responsibility for the development of the 2007 Food Protection Plan, which served as the basis for many of the authorities granted to FDA by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
From 2009 to 2013 he was a partner at Leavitt Partners where he managed Leavitt Partners Global Food Safety Solutions. 

David has published extensively and is internationally recognized both for his public health expertise in food safety and his research in infectious diseases. He is a sought-after speaker and regular guest on national news programs. He serves on a variety of boards and food safety advisory groups of several major food manufacturers.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to David Acheson about:

  • His role in building the 2007 Food Protection Plan and how it parallels FSMA
  • The importance of the food safety crises that took place in 2006 and 2007
  • The differences between food fraud, food security, food defense and food adulteration, and how sometimes these instances do not necessarily implicate a public health risk
  • His advice to food companies gearing up to comply with FSMA's food defense regulations
  • Facing the realities of determining whether your food plant is at risk of committing a food-related crime
  • How to advocate for more or better resources, and how to convince the C-suite to invest in food safety
  • Balancing food safety goals with a company's other metricssales, margins, etc.
  • The main challenges he sees facing food companies
  • His views on announced vs. unannounced audits
  • How the Peanut Corporation of America debacle helped shape FSMA's Preventive Controls rule and how it forced some food companies to rebuild their own supply and control programs
  • His thoughts on how legal roadblocks keep food safety violations from ever coming to light

Articles by David Acheson in Food Safety Magazine
Why Don't We Learn More from Our Mistakes?
Industry Perspectives of Proposed FSMA Rule on Preventive Controls

News Mentioned in This Episode
FDA Reminds Public of Soy Nut Butter Recall
Opponents Say USDA Reorganization has Mulitple Problems
Raw Milk Dairy Out of Time to Appeal Retail License Suspension
Why Is it So Hard to Track the Source of a Food Poisoning Outbreak?
Food Truck Commissary: The Foundation of a Mobile Business
Savor Safe Street Food