Home » Multimedia » Podcasts » Food Safety Matters » Ep. 9. Bill Sperber: "We never had problems like this until you came along"
Food Safety Matters
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. William Sperber is a renowned food microbiologist who has been appointed five times by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and has been recognized for his pioneering work at the Pillsbury Co. in the development of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety program model.
During his career, Dr. Sperber worked for three major food companies—Best Foods, Pillsbury and Cargill—and has become one of the world’s experts in controlling the microbiological safety and quality of foods.
A former chair of the IFT Division of Food Microbiology and the Food Microbiology Research Conference, Dr. Sperber was appointed in 2000 to the FAO/WHO roster of experts for microbiological risk assessments.
In 2001, the International Association for Food Protection presented Dr. Sperber with the Harold Barnum Industry Award, and in 2002, the American Meat Institute Foundation presented him with its inaugural Scientific Achievement Award. In 2004 he received our Food Safety Magazine Distinguished Service Award
Now retired, Dr. Sperber is a strategic advisor to Cargill’s food safety program and remains actively involved in professional activities on a personal level, including the development of a textbook on food safety and HACCP.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters we speak to Dr. Bill Sperber about:
Bill’s early life influences and what lead him to a career in food microbiology
Why Salmonella is his ‘favorite’ bacterium
The food industry before HACCP
Developing and implementing HACCP
Canned foods regulation, pasteurization, and raw milk
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.