Food Safety Matters is a podcast for food safety professionals hosted by the Food Safety Magazine editorial team – the leading media brand in food safety for over 20 years. Each episode will feature a conversation with a food safety professional sharing their experiences and insights of the important job of safeguarding the world’s food supply.
Dr. Scott Brooks is the owner of River Run Consulting, LLC, providing food safety, quality, scientific and regulatory affairs services for food and beverage companies in manufacturing, food service and retail. He is the former senior vice president of Quality, Food Safety, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Kraft Foods. Scott joined Kraft from PepsiCo, where he held the position of vice president of Global Food Safety, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, and Quality Policy. He joined PepsiCo from Yum! Brands where he was Director of Global Food Safety and Quality Assurance. Scott also held senior quality, food safety and regulatory positions at Food Safety Net Services and at E&J Gallo. He started his career in food safety and quality with the U.S. Air Force as a public health officer and director of Air Force food safety programs.
Scott has a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University, as well as a Master’s degree in Food Science/Microbiology and a Master’s degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine/Epidemiology, both from the University of California-Davis. He has served on numerous scientific boards and food industry advisory committees and was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Scott is Board Certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine and is currently the Past President of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine where he influences national farm-to-table food safety policy and systems with colleagues from government, academia and industry.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Scott Brooks about:
His evolution from veterinary medicine to food safety
How Dave Theno influenced his career pathway
His time in the Air Force, including his food safety and bioterrorism responsibilities as a public health officer
Working with Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut
How the industry's focus on food safety changed after 9/11
Challenges food companies are faced with while balancing new regulations with ongoing requirements
Tips to prepare for food plant inspections
Advice on how to advocate for more (or better) food safety resources
Top challenges facing the food safety industry
Differences between food safety at the corporate level vs. at the plant level
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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 the 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.
Brian Sylvester, J.D., is a Partner in Perkins Coie LLP's Washington D.C. office and a former Attorney-Advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Marketing, Regulatory, and Food Safety Programs Division's Office of the General Counsel. At Perkins Coie, Brian focuses his practice on regulatory matters before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the USDA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and analogous state regulatory bodies. He is a leading authority on food technology regulation and serves as a trusted advisor to global brands, startups, life science companies, investors, and trade associations.
Sara Mortimore, M.Sc., FRSPH, MIFST, is the Vice President and Global Subject Matter Expert for Food Safety at Walmart Inc. In her role, Sara is responsible for the global development and oversight of all food safety programs, compliance, and initiatives for the company's 10,500 stores, owned manufacturing facilities, and distribution and fulfilment centers. This includes the supplier and supply chain food safety program.
Matt Brosseau founded Path Forward Consulting LLC in early 2022 after spending a decade working as an engineer and operations manager in the powdered infant formula industry. He has spent the majority of his career installing and qualifying equipment manufacturing facilities for tools utilized in the manufacture and packaging of FDA-regulated products. Matt is also a U.S. Army veteran, and served as an officer in the Vermont Army National Guard for 11 years. Before hanging up his uniform, he served as the Company Commander of a Combat Engineer Unit and was deployed to Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Matt earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University in 2014, and maintains several professional certificates in commissioning from the continuing education extension of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Blake Harris, CSCP, is a specialist in standards and process enhancement, digital solution development, and implementation, with more than a decade of experience in supply chain-related functions within the private sector and at non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He places high value on tackling complex issues to create efficient and uncomplicated solutions. As the Technical Director at the Institute of Food Technologists' Global Food Traceability Center (IFT’s GFTC), his focus centers on enhancing data digitization in food systems, which involves collaborative efforts with a diverse range of stakeholders from industry, government, and NGO sectors.
Alison Grantham, Ph.D., is a consultant who brings a rigorous, practical approach to her work with public and private sector organizations to improve the food system. Alison focuses on helping her clients develop data-driven tools and programs to define and achieve goals to enhance food and agriculture. She has worked closely with IFT's Global Food Traceability Center since 2019, developing the Global Dialogue in Seafood Traceability (GDST) standards, among other traceability initiatives. Prior to consulting, she led food systems research and development, and then food procurement, at an $800-million revenue e-commerce food company. Previously, she led Penn State Extension's beginning farmer training program and directed research at the Rodale Institute. Alison currently serves on the Rodale Institute's Board of Directors and the National Academy of Sciences' Committee to advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the body that oversees climate and other global change research across the 14 federal agencies.