Will Daniels is president of the produce division at IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group. In this role, Will is responsible for lab and consulting services for the produce industry. Prior to joining IEH, Will was president and CEO of Fresh Integrity Group, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in operations and food safety consulting for the fresh produce and perishables industries.  Prior to his involvement with start-up companies, Will was with Earthbound Farm from 1999 until 2014. Having leadership roles in both quality assurance and operations, he helped the company grow from a small, regional salad producer to the nation’s largest grower, packer, and shipper of organic produce. As Earthbound Farm’s Chief Food Integrity Officer, Daniels was responsible for food safety, food quality, and the company’s organic integrity program. Before joining Earthbound Farm, Will worked for 15 years as a consultant in the foodservice sector; working in the back of the house designing menus, introducing food safety and, improving costs; he even had his own catering business. 

Will is a sought-after speaker and has addressed key issues in food safety in the produce industry at meetings of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Restaurant Association, the Institute of Food Technologists and the International Association for Food Protection. He was the keynote speaker at the 2020 Food Safety Summit. Will was one of the Packer 25 annual list of produce leaders for 2013 and was named one of the food industry’s top food safety leaders by Marler/Clark’s Food Safety News in 2013. He has also been featured in a variety of national news stories on food safety with media such as The New York Times and ABC News’s Good Morning America; he is the author of two book chapters, “Effectively Managing through a Crisis,” in Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce, published by Wiley in 2009 and “Pathogen Testing in Fresh Produce: Earthbound Farm,” in Global Safety of Fresh Produce; A Handbook of Best Practice, Innovative Commercial Collations and Case Studies, published by Woodhead Publishing in 2014. An active leader in the food industry, Will serves on a variety of boards and technical committees including the Food Safety Magazine editorial advisory board.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Will [13:36] about:

  • The human side of food safety as part of public health
  • Reestablishing a relationship with the consumer
  • Reliving the 2006 spinach outbreak
  • Educating and engaging your workforce
  • Engaging senior management in food safety
  • How to counter complacency in your food safety plan
  • The ongoing saga of romaine lettuce outbreaks
  • The role of whole-genome sequencing in outbreak surveillance
  • Why romaine is such a challenging commodity to keep safe
  • Irrigation water standards
  • Moving beyond the regulations to improve food safety even more
  • What drives food safety programs
  • Keeping food workers safe during the pandemic
  • Where we go from here

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