Mitzi Baum joined the team at Stop Foodborne Illness as the Chief Executive Officer in May 2019. Prior to beginning her tenure at Stop, Mitzi cultivated a 23-year career at Feeding America beginning as a network services representative rising to the senior level position of managing director of food safety. Mitzi holds a Master of Science in Food Safety and a certificate in Food Law from Michigan State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH.

Steve Mandernach is the executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), which unites high-level regulatory officials, industry representatives, trade associations, academia, and consumer organizations. Prior to becoming executive director in 2018, Steve was the bureau chief for food and consumer safety at the Iowa Department of Inspections. He is a past president of AFDO and current co-chair of the Association’s Laws and Regulations committee. He has a J.D. from Drake University Law School. Steve is also a member of Food Safety Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board.

Jennifer Pierquet (P-R-Key) joined the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) in May 2019 as a Project Manager to oversee two support and maintenance contracts for 20 state inspection systems. Jenny leads the recall modernization project and Co-Chairs AFDO's Food Protection and Defense Committee. Formerly, she worked for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Food and Consumer Safety Bureau as the Manufacturing Foods Regulatory Program Standards Coordinator and was involved in Iowa's Rapid Response Team. Prior to Iowa, she worked for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Jenny received a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, and is proud alumni of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Mitzi, Steve, and Jennifer [17:41] about:

  • How the recall process has worked for the last 20 years
  • Some of the problems associated with how recalls are currently handled
  • Identifying gaps in recall process for consumers
  • Complexity of recalls and recall fatigue
  • STOP’s working group and their recommendations to FDA
  • AFDO’s recommendations to FDA
  • Are recalls happening fast enough – too fast?
  • Priorities for change that could be implemented quickly
  • Training
  • Using consistent language between agencies
  • Viewing recalls as urgent public health issues


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