Darin Detwiler, LP.D., M.A.Ed., is a food safety academic, advisor, advocate, and author with a 30-year history of working to control foodborne illness. After losing his son, Riley, to a foodborne Escherichia coli infection in 1993, Dr. Detwiler was invited by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to collaborate on consumer education. He has since been appointed twice to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA's) National Advisory Board on Meat and Poultry Inspection, and has represented consumers as the Senior Policy Coordinator for non-governmental organizations, served on consumer food protection councils, and supported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition to fulfilling his current role as Chair of the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA's) Food Safety Program, Dr. Detwiler sits on numerous advisory and editorial boards, is the Founder and CEO Detwiler Consulting Group LLC, and is an Associate Professor of food policy and corporate social responsibility at Northeastern University.
Dr. Detwiler has appeared on television, including Netflix’s recent documentary, Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food, and has been published in print, such as his 2020 book, Food Safety: Past, Present, and Predictions. He is the recipient of the International Association for Food Protection's (IAFP’s) 2022 Ewen C.D. Todd Control of Foodborne Illness Award, as well as Food Safety Magazine's 2018 Distinguished Service Award for his work in promoting science-based solutions for food safety issues.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. Detwiler [26:34] about:
- Consumer perceptions and discussions that emerged around food safety after Poisoned was released, as well as how the documentary may have spoken to industry leaders and policymakers
- What Poisoned meant to him personally, as it shared Dr. Detwiler’s story as a father who lost his son to E. coli infection, and what he hoped to communicate to audiences through the film
- The work that individuals in the food industry carry out to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses, and why their efforts should be more widely recognized
- The role that legal consequences play in deterring “bad actors” from shirking their food safety responsibilities, and why fostering robust food safety culture is an important counterbalance
- Ways in which the U.S. can improve the safety of its food, such as by reducing regulatory complexity, as well as strides the U.S. has taken over the last 30 years in terms of food safety and considering the consumer
- New and emerging food safety challenges of concern in the future, how consumer demands and behavior could play into these challenges, and the importance of keeping the true “why” behind food safety—consumer protection—at the forefront of industry efforts.
News and Resources:
Food Safety Insights Column, Bob Ferguson
Top Food Safety Priorities—Where are We Post-Pandemic? [16:51]
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