Joe Stout, R.S. is a leader in quality and sanitation with over 40 years of experience in the industry. He founded Commercial Food Sanitation (CFS) in 2010, which provides strategic consulting, training, and solutions to address food safety, hygienic design, and sanitation challenges for food processing plants worldwide.

Previously, Mr. Stout spent 30 years at Kraft Foods. While there, he held a variety of positions related to operations, quality, and sanitation, ultimately leading to his role as Kraft's Director of Global Product Protection, Sanitation, and Hygienic Design. While at Kraft, Mr. Stout had global responsibility for plant cleaning controls and processes, allergen and pathogen control programs, pest control, and hygienic design for facilities and equipment used in more than 200 Kraft plants. He also managed the Global Product Protection group, assuring global support for internal and external plants.

Mr. Stout led the American Meat Institute's (AMI's) Equipment Design Task Force and has partnered for Listeria monocytogenes intervention training with AMI and the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) Hygienic Design initiatives. He is currently leading continuous improvement in equipment hygienic design, both in process plants and field harvest equipment. Mr. Stout also facilitated the development and execution of the Dairy Food Safety Training classes with Dairy Management Inc.'s Innovation Center.

In addition to his involvement with these initiatives and other leading industry organizations, Mr. Stout is a published authority on the subjects of food safety, sanitation, hygiene, and related areas. He became a Registered Sanitarian in the state of Pennsylvania in 1985. He is also the recipient of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) 2015 Sanitarian of the Year Award, the IAFP 2020 Food Safety Award, and the 2022 Food Safety Magazine Distinguished Service Award.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Joe [27:19] about:

  • The trajectory of his 42-year career in sanitation, what drives his passion for food safety, and his many contributions to the industry
  • The importance of educating sanitarians and caring for worker safety, as well as cultivating an industry culture that prioritizes such goals
  • The challenges of concurrently maintaining sanitation and productivity, and how hygienic design can help facilitate this balancing act
  • The extent of hygienic restoration that is necessary to rectify a failed cleanliness incident in a facility, the difficulty of finding the root cause of an incident, and the importance of establishing measures to prevent future incidents
  • The food safety and labor retention benefits of having a mature hygiene culture, and how expressing care and appreciation for sanitation workers can foster such a culture
  • How equipping sanitarians with the tools and training they need to succeed, as well as employing hygienic design, can simultaneously improve safety conditions for workers and the cleanliness of food processing facilities
  • How collaboration between OEMs, sanitarians, and food safety professionals can lead to improved industry design standards
  • The importance of not overlooking simple guiding principles when seeking to improve hygienic design
  • The need for technologically advanced solutions to foster productivity in sanitation

News and Resources:

Food Industry, NGOs, Consumers Urge FDA to Unify Food Program [4:50]

Mike Taylor: Opinion—It’s Time to Fix FDA by Breaking It Up
FAO Publishes Paper on Regulatory Strategies to Counter Food Fraud [10:20]

AFDO Whitepaper Asks FDA to Modernize Recalls [12:40]

FAO paper 

Eliminating Viruses in Food Production [14:28]

Food Safety Insights Column, Bob Ferguson

Supply Chain Recovery—Processors Speak Out [18:26]

Sponsored by:

Michigan State University Online Food Safety Program

Online MS in Food Safety Program

Curriculum: Online MS in Food Safety Program

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