Michael R. Taylor, J.D., will receive Food Safety Magazine's Distinguished Service Award for 2023. The award will be presented at the 2023 Food Safety Summit, taking place May 8–11 in Rosemont, Illinois.
Mr. Taylor has held leadership roles in public health and food safety in government, academia, and the private sector, with a major focus on modernizing the U.S. food safety system to prevent foodborne illness. He led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) role in the legislative enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011, and currently co-chairs the board of Stop Foodborne Illness, a consumer organization supporting and representing the victims of foodborne illness and their families.
From 2010–2016, he served as the Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at FDA. In addition to his work on FSMA, he oversaw FDA's other food-related activities, including its nutrition, labeling, food additive, dietary supplement, and animal drug programs. Previously, Mr. Taylor was appointed Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA's FSIS) in 1994, where he overhauled the FSIS program to establish legal accountability for industry to prevent contamination of meat and poultry with pathogenic bacteria, particularly E. coli O157:H7. He also led FDA's new Office of Policy from 1991–1994, where he worked on the implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.
Prior to joining FDA in 2009, he spent nearly a decade in academia conducting food safety, food security, and public health policy research, most recently at George Washington University's School of Public Health. Mr. Taylor is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Past recipients of the Food Safety Magazine Distinguished Service Award include Reginald Bennett, M.Sc., Dane Bernard, M.Sc., Larry Beuchat, Ph.D., Robert L. Buchanan, Ph.D., Frank Busta, Ph.D., John N. Butts, Ph.D., Darin Detwiler, Ph.D., Keith Ito, Allen Katsuyama, Connie Kirby, M.Sc., John W. Larkin, Ph.D., Huub Lelieveld, Barbara Masters, D.V.M., Ann Marie McNamara, Ph.D., Theodora Morille-Hinds, M.Sc., William Sperber, Ph.D., Joe Stout, R.S., Steve Taylor, Ph.D., David Theno, Ph.D., Bruce Tompkin, Ph.D., and Don L. Zink, Ph.D.