Natalie Dyenson, M.P.H. is the Chief Food Safety and Regulatory Officer for the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA). She has nearly three decades of experience in food safety that encompasses the entire produce supply chain, from farm to fork. In her role at IFPA, Natalie and her team actively work to guide industry on food safety issues and connect with regulators and policymakers to advocate for a science-focused and risk-based approach to food safety worldwide. 

Having previously served as Vice President of Food Safety and Quality for Dole Food Company, Natalie is an internationally recognized food safety expert with broad and extensive experience leading international food safety programs for produce. She has leadership experience in food safety, public health, and regulatory compliance, leading global teams with a focus on scientific, risk-based program development, strategic planning, regulatory compliance, and quality assurance. 

Prior to joining Dole, Natalie held food safety leadership roles with both Walmart U.S. and Walmart International divisions. She also worked with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, where she held various roles in food safety and public health supporting domestic and international operations. Natalie holds a B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of Iowa and an M.P.H. degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of South Florida. She serves on the Produce Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (USDA NIFA’s) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Center for Produce Safety (CPS).

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Android

In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Natalie [29:05] about:
  • How Natalie’s experience has given her a well-rounded, global perspective that informs her current work at IFPA
  • The work of IFPA’s Food Safety Council to improve food safety worldwide, and how the council represents the Association’s international and multi-sectoral community
  • Why IFPA recently became a member of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), and the Association’s goal to reduce redundant audits as part of the GFSI Coalition for Action 
  • IFPA’s participation in the Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Food Hygiene to ensure the produce perspective is part of the discussion as Codex guidance and recommendations are developed
  • IFPA’s current priorities for produce food safety achievable through its three strategic objectives 
  • The long-awaited U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Agricultural Water Proposed Rule (Subpart E of the Produce Safety Rule), and IFPA’s recently published, anticipatory guidance for industry 
  • The increasing concern about Cyclospora contamination of produce, the unreliability of detection methods under development, and strategies that can be implemented to break the cycle of contamination despite lacking effective detection methods.

News and Resources

New Illinois Bill Aims to Ban Same Four Toxic Food Additives as California Food Safety Act [4:12]

EFSA: Poor Hygienic Equipment Design Most Crucial Risk Factor for Persistent Pathogens in Food Production [11:16]

GAO, HHS Urge FDA to Develop Implementation Plan for Food Traceability Final Rule [17:50]

FDA’s Food Traceability Final Rule FAQs, Tools, and Resources

USDA Releases Annual Pesticide Residue Report, Finds 99 Percent of Samples Below Benchmarks [20:59]

Study Shows Promise of Phage Treatment in Reducing Salmonella on Raw Chicken Breast [22:36]

IFPA Industry Guidance on Pre-Harvest Agricultural Water

Stop Foodborne Illness Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship

[WEBINAR] February 22, 2024 “Applied Root Cause Analysis: Using Your Results to Effectively Manage Risk”

[WEBINAR] March 28, 2024 "Controlling Salmonella and Cronobacter in Dry Processing Environments by Managing System Breaches"

Register for the 2024 Food Safety Summit!

Taking place May 6–9, 2024 in Rosemont, Illinois. Register before March 31 for a 10% early bird discount rate, plus use promo code “FSMatters15” for an extra 15% off registration. Yes, that’s a total discount of 25%!

We Want to Hear from You!
Please send us your questions and suggestions to