David W.K. Acheson, M.D., F.R.C.P., is the President and CEO of The Acheson Group, a consulting firm that provides strategic advice on all matters relating to food safety and food defense, as well as recall and crisis management support, to food companies and ancillary technology companies around the world.
Prior to founding The Acheson Group in 2013, Dr. Acheson served as the Chief Medical Officer in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA's CFSAN). Following several other positions at FDA, he was appointed Associate Commissioner for Foods, which gave him an agency-wide leadership role for all food and feed issues, including health promotion and nutrition. Dr. Acheson was also a partner at Leavitt Partners and managed Leavitt Partners Global Food Safety Solutions from 2009 to 2013.
Dr. Acheson graduated from the University of London Medical School in 1980. Following training in internal medicine and infectious diseases in the UK, in 1987 he moved to the New England Medical Center and Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. As an Associate Professor at Tufts University, Dr. Acheson undertook basic molecular pathogenesis research on foodborne pathogens, especially Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli.
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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with David [28:53] about:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (USDA’s FSIS’) declaration of Salmonella as an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products, as well as future federal regulation of Salmonella contamination of poultry
- Considerations that could affect the way in which Salmonella in poultry is regulated, such as different serotypes and the risk they pose to public health
- The importance of FDA clearly defining for growers what compliance with the agricultural water rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) entails
- The various, nuanced factors that must be decided in order to adequately regulate ingestible Cannabis products
- How the federal legal status of Cannabis may hamper foodborne illness reporting and outbreak investigations related to edible Cannabis products
- Why more effective consumer communication would improve the food recall system, and how recall modernization can achieve that goal
- How food companies can prepare themselves to meet increasingly stringent aflatoxin regulations—or regulations for any contaminant—through risk assessment, and why regulatory bodies should holistically consider the ramifications of regulations before implementing them
- Possible avenues that companies and regulatory agencies can take when considering how to reduce human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from foods
- How chemical residues in foods have been neglected in comparison to microbiological contaminants, and why it is crucial to build scientific understanding around the public health risk of different chemical contaminants.
News and Resources
USDA-FSIS Proposed Regulatory Framework for Reducing Salmonella in Poultry May Declare Salmonella an Adulterant [3:18]
More Research Needed on Exposure To, Toxicity of Microplastics in Food [7:18]
International Organizations Develop One Health Action Plan, Food Safety is Key Component [12:18]
WHO Launches Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022–2030 [13:08]
Edible Sensor for Frozen Food Safety Indicates When Products Have Been Thawed, Refrozen [18:45]
Webinar: FDA's Tech-Enabled Traceability—New Standards to Improve Food System Transparency
FSIS Proposed Regulatory Framework
Microplastics Found in Human Breast Milk for the First Time
Former Kerry Inc. Manager Pleads Guilty in Connection with Insanitary Plant Conditions Linked to 2018 Salmonella Poisoning Outbreak
CDC: Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka Infections Linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal (Final Update)
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