Christopher Waldrop, M.P.H., is a Senior Health Scientist in the Division of Public Health Informatics and Analytics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA’s CFSAN). In this role, he leads cross-agency workgroups to advance FDA priorities on nutrition, food safety, and biotechnology issues. He also helps identify and assess emerging consumer research and educational needs, advises CFSAN leadership on potential and emerging issues, and assists in prioritizing activities in FDA's food program. Mr. Waldrop holds a degree in advertising from Texas Tech University and an M.P.H. degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Vanessa Coffman is the Director of the Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness. She comes to Stop Foodborne Illness with a diverse background in food safety and sustainability, with a focus on environmental exposures across the food system. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a M.S. degree in Global Public Health and the Environment from the University of California, Berkeley.

She has conducted research for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Sierra Leone examining farming opportunities in a post-war setting, on occupational and residential exposures from large pork production operations in rural North Carolina, examining the association between nitrate in drinking water (largely from food animal operations) and fetal health outcomes using Danish population-based health registers, and previously worked at Stop Foodborne Illness as a policy analyst. She has testified in front of U.S. government officials, has authored peer-reviewed papers, and helped draft federal regulations.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Mr. Waldrop and Dr. Coffman [2:46] about:

  • FDA and Stop Foodborne Illness’ ongoing collaboration on a webinar series promoting food safety culture within industry
  • Effective strategies for communicating to corporate leadership the importance of food safety to their business
  • Ways in which organizations have successfully engaged employees and assessed their awareness about food safety
  • The future of food safety culture assessment from a regulatory standpoint, as well as the importance of assessing culture within an organization, building upon a conversation that took place during the FDA/Stop Foodborne Illness Webinar #7 held at the 2023 Food Safety Summit
  • FDA’s priorities for food safety culture in the near future, as well as plans for future FDA/Stop Foodborne Illness webinars and efforts to promote food safety culture.

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