Dr. Frank Busta is the director emeritus of the Food Protection & Defense Institute (formerly the National Center for Food Protection and Defense NCFPD) and professor emeritus of food microbiology at the University of Minnesota. He was named as the first director of the Food Protection & Defense Institute in 2004. Previously, he held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University, and the University of Florida. He served as chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition from 1984 to 1987 at the University of Florida and head of the Department of Food Science & Nutrition, University of Minnesota, from 1987 to 1997. Dr. Busta’s research areas are in food safety, growth, and survival of microorganisms after environmental stress in food, microbial ecology, and food defense. He has published more than 125 refereed research papers. He has served as Chief Technology Advisor on a UNDP project in China on agri-processing within the WTO framework. He retired in 2002 from the International Commission on the Microbiological Specifications for Food after 15 years of service. He is a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST, in the UK), of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), and of the Academy of the International Union of Food Science and Technology. He received the IAFP Honorary Life Membership Award in 2009 and gave the Silliker Lecture at IAFP in 2015. He received the IFT Calvert L. Willey Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and the Myron Solberg Award from IFT in 2017. He chaired the Food Forum of the Institute of Medicine in the National Academies from 2011 to 2014. He was president of IFT in 1995–1996. Dr. Busta served as Senior Science Advisor to NCFPD from 2007 to 2014. He is a Certified Food Scientist (IFT), a Registered Scientist (IFST), and a Registered Specialist in Food, Dairy, and Sanitation Microbiology (National Registry of Microbiologists, AAM). He received his B.A. and M.Sc. from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Dr. Busta about:

  • His crowning research achievement
  • Injuring microbial cells and spores
  • Aha moment: Heat treatment of Staphylococcus aureus and the effects of salt
  • The tenacity of food microbiologists
  • Applications of scientific research to food plant operations
  • The importance of validation and verification
  • The concept of zero and relationship to risk
  • The Salmonella problem
  • The original objectives of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense
  • Inputs for the Food Safety Modernization Act Intentional Adulteration rule
  • A story about HACCP: The very beginnings
  • Advice for his younger self

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