Home » Multimedia » Podcasts » Food Safety Matters » Ep. 11. Patricia Wester: "Preventive controls are not HACCP"
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.
After obtaining her B.Sc. in poultry science from the University of Florida and serving in the meat and poultry industry, Trish began her career in food safety in 1997 as director of process and product development at ABC Research Corporation in Gainesville, FL. In 2004, she joined SGS, Consumer Testing Services, as the regional operations director for the Americas until 2009 when she became director of food safety systems for Eurofins Scientific. She is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance Lead Instructor for Human Foods, an International HACCP Alliance Instructor and is currently President of her own consulting company, PA Wester Consulting, where she utilizes her broad experience in food safety testing and accredited certification auditing to support her food industry client base through the complexities of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation. In 2017, she launched the Association for Food Safety Auditing Professionals, a 501(C)(3) trade association to provide a platform to support the food safety auditing community.
She is active on numerous committees and councils, including as a member of the Food Safety Summit Education Advisory Board, and past Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Auditor Competence and Global Regulatory Affairs Technical Working Groups.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Trish Wester about:
The types of audits conducted within the food industry and how they differ
How exacting standards for third-party auditing became part of FSMA
How FSMA implementation will change the way that auditing has always been performed
Auditing for food safety preventive controls vs. the robust systems that already exist for HACCP
What it will take to create audits that are as robust and viable as the ones that were performed pre-FSMA
How food plants are adapting to preventive controls rules in light of FSMA implementation and compliance deadlines
Apparent gaps in how FDA has structured FSMA regulations
How companies are working to meet FSMA compliance deadlines in a relatively short period of time
What happens when an auditor does not have specific training and experience in the food sector they’re evaluating
What kinds of skills should a qualified auditor possess
How scoring of audits works
The challenges of training an auditor to be well-versed in all FDA-regulated food sectors
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.