Dr. Bob Brackett is the vice president of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH). 

Prior to joining IIT, Dr. Brackett served as senior vice president and chief science and regulatory officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. 

Before that, he served at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). His initial role there was as a senior microbiologist. After several promotions, Dr. Brackett was appointed CFSAN director, where he provided executive leadership to CFSAN’s development and implementation of programs and policies relative to the composition, quality, safety, and labeling of foods, food and color additives, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Brackett held professorial positions with North Carolina State University and the University of Georgia.

Dr. Brackett has been honored with the FDA Award of Merit, the FDA Distinguished Alumni Award, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service, the International Association for Food Protection's President’s Appreciation Award, and the William C. Frazier Food Microbiology Award. 

Bob received his doctorate in food microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the Food Safety Magazine editorial advisory board. 

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Bob Brackett about:

  • The impetus behind starting IIT
  • IIT's collaborative research practices
  • His research on nanotechnology in the food industry and why he thinks that type of research has become less of an industry focus
  • The growing interest in researching the survival and elimination of pathogens from low-moisture ingredients
  • New technologies being used in food safety: high-pressure, pulse light, and cool plasma
  • IIT's Biocontaminant Pilot Plant
  • Current studies and research that may help to explain what happened in the recent romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak, and the 2006 spinach outbreak
  • Joint research with FDA that found an effective way to clean pipes and rid them of Salmonella bacteria in a peanut butter production facility
  • IIT's work with NOROCORE and norovirus interventions
  • What goes on at the Center for Nutrition Research, the Center for Process Innovation, and the Center for Specialty Programs
  • The most innovative developments to come out of IIT
  • IIT's top goals moving forward
  • His advice to food safety graduate students

Related Content and Resources:
Illinois Institute of Technology 
Institute for Food Safety and Health 

News Mentioned in This Episode:
Feedback Wanted: FDA to Seek Comments on Cell Culture Technology Use in Food Sector 
FDA's Constituent Update/Public Meeting Announcement on Cell Culture Technology 
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's Statement on Cell Culture Technology 
Safe Food for Canadians Regulations Announced for 2019 
Pre-Cut Fruit Causes Multistate Salmonella Outbreak; FDA Outbreak Updates 
CDC Advisory: Do Not Consume Any Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal 
FDA: Del Monte Vegetable Trays Linked to Multistate Cyclospora Outbreak 
Darin Detwiler to Receive Food Safety Magazine's Distinguished Service Award

Bob Ferguson's Food Safety Insights Articles 
Listeria: An Important Focus of Environmental Monitoring (June/July 2018)
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)

Presenting Sponsor

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