Caroline Smith DeWaal, J.D. is Senior Manager at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). She also serves as Deputy Chief of Party of EatSafe—Evidence and Action Towards Safe, Nutritious Food—which is a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded, five-year program running through June 2024. EatSafe aims to enable lasting improvements in the safety of nutritious foods in traditional markets by focusing on behavior change. Prior to joining GAIN, Caroline worked as an International Food Safety Policy Manager for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA’s CFSAN). She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont and a J.D. from Antioch School of Law.

Richard Pluke, Ph.D. is the Food Safety Lead and Chief of Party for GAIN's EatSafe and an international rural development professional specializing in agricultural enterprises and value chains, with over 15 years of applied development experience in South America, Asia, and Africa. Prior to GAIN, Dr. Pluke worked at Bayer Crop Science, and he also spent 15 years at FINTRAC Inc., where he served as Deputy Chief of Party on several USAID programs in Tanzania. He received his Ph.D. in Entomology and Farming Systems from the University of Florida at Gainesville. 

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Ms. DeWaal and Dr. Pluke [36:06] about:

  • How GAIN and EatSafe are working to improve food safety in traditional markets, as well as the mission of promoting healthier diets and sustainable food systems among vulnerable communities
  • Why food contamination and foodborne illness are not being addressed by vendors in traditional food markets or government regulators
  • A three-legged approach that could be useful in promoting and ensuring food safety in traditional markets
  • How the EatSafe initiative employs research-informed training and communication initiatives to drive positive behavioral change in market actors and to create consumer demand for safe food in traditional markets
  • Specific, real-life examples of EatSafe’s work and outcomes in Ethiopia and Nigeria
  • GAIN’s future plans for food safety education and aid after the five-year EatSafe initiative concludes.

News and Resources

FDA Study Shows STEC Can Spread Through Air to Contaminate Leafy Greens Crops [4:29]

Health Effects of Contaminants in Seafood Unclear, But Most People Aren't Eating Enough Fish Anyway [12:16]

Study Shows Risk of Gluten Migration into Food from Biodegradable Plates, Straws [23:26]

African Union Developing First-Ever Food Safety Guidelines for Continent's Informal Foods Market [30:29]

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

GAIN EatSafe

GAIN Video: "Food Safety: The Biggest Development Challenge You've Never Heard Of"

EatSafe interventions in Nigeria

EatSafe: Nigeria food safety training brief

EatSafe: Brand intervention brief

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI): "New directions for tackling food safety risks in the informal sector of developing countries"

Food Safety Matters Podcast Ep. 104. Bonnie McClafferty: Food Safety Needs to Be a Business Model

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