Frank Yiannas is a food safety culture expert, a food safety executive at global brands, an author, and an adjunct professor. He served as the Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2018–February 2023. While at FDA, he was instrumental in creating the New Era for Smarter Food Safety blueprint and many other initiatives related to the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Frank has also held food safety leadership roles with Walmart and the Walt Disney Company. Additionally, he advanced global thinking on food safety culture with his pivotal 2008 book, Food Safety Culture: Creating a Behavior-Based Food Safety Management System. Frank has long been recognized for his role in elevating food safety standards and building food safety management systems based on science and risk.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Frank [24:37] about:

  • The differences and similarities between working in food safety in the public and private sectors, and how improved public-private communication is required to drive food safety advancements
  • Surprises that Frank encountered in transitioning to FDA from the private sector, and how his industry experience prepared him for his role at FDA
  • Frank's proudest accomplishments with FDA, including FSMA implementation and efforts under the New Era of Smarter Food Safety
  • Three big lessons Frank learned about the U.S. food system and food safety regulation during his time at FDA
  • Frank’s advice to “not hesitate… go bold” regarding the “new vision” proposed for FDA’s Human Foods Program by FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf
  • Why “advancing food safety is impossible without change,” and what types of changes at FDA would most benefit U.S. food safety
  • What Frank is looking forward to achieving in the next chapter of his post-FDA career, and what he means when he says he wants to take care of #UnfinishedBusiness.

News and Resources:

USDA-FSIS Summarizes Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations, Sampling Activities for 2022 [3:55]

Most Major Food Allergen Recalls Caused by Preventable Labeling Errors, Study Finds [8:11]

FAO, WHO Publish First Global Report on Cell-Based Food Safety [20:49]

Frank Yiannas Smarter Solutions

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