Barbara interviews Deirdre Schlunegger, the CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness. Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens. Their mission is to promote sound food safety policy and best practices, build public awareness and assist those impacted by foodborne illness.

Stop Foodborne Illness was founded in 1993 in the wake of the Jack-in-the-Box E. coli outbreak by a group of foodborne illness victims and friends in order to address the void they saw in the national food policy arena.

Since then, Stop Foodborne Illness has become a respected leader in consumer advocacy and is regularly consulted by government officials, industry leaders, academia, public health organizations, members of Congress, and the media on issues concerning food safety.

Deirdre joined Stop Foodborne Illness in August 2010 bringing over 25 years of nonprofit and leadership experience. She serves as an advisory member of the Joint Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition and is a participating member of the Safe Food Coalition and the Make Our Food Safe Coalition and serves as Commissioner of the International Food Science Certification Commission.

If you would like to become involved with Stop Foodborne Illness's advocacy work, you can call them directly at 773-269-6555 or visit

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Deirdre Schlunegger about:

  • The founding of Stop Foodborne Illness
  • How the organization has helped to motivate regulatory reform, particularly via the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Stop Foodborne Illness's consumer outreach efforts, especially for food outbreaks and recalls
  • Consumer materials made available via Stop Foodborne Illness on topics such as handwashing, grocery shopping, food handling and preparation
  • Positive cultural shifts that have taken place within the organization to a more cooperative approach with industry
  • The impact of telling stories to workers in the food industry vs. relying on training/technical videos
  • The Stop Foodborne Illness honor wall, a collection of stories from families who have been personally impacted by foodborne illness
  • The Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship
  • Future projects and collaborations with food companies, government groups, and consumer communities

Related Content and Resources:
Donate Now: Stop Foodborne Illness
Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship
Stop Foodborne Illness Stories & Honor Wall
Video: The WHY Behind Food Safety
Food Marketing Institute
Ask Karen
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 888-MPHotline or 800-535-4555 

News Mentioned in This Episode: 
U.S. Says E. coli Outbreaks is "Likely Leafy Greens" While Canada Declares Outbreak Over
FSIS Works to Make Eggs Safer
Worst Ever Listeria Outbreak Plaguing South Africa

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