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.
Larry Keener has a long record of involvement, both nationally and internationally, with food industry issues. He is the current vice president and co-chair of the Austrian-based Global Harmonization Initiative, an organization founded in 2004 to promote harmonization of food safety legislation and regulations. He is president and chief executive officer of Seattle-based International Product Safety Consultants, Inc.—a global leader in providing food safety and food technology solutions to the food processing industry for a broad client base of Fortune 500 food companies, academic research institutes, and government agencies. Also, Larry has written and published more than 100 scientific papers and numerous book chapters on food safety, microbiology, and process validation. He is a frequently invited speaker to the food industry, business and scientific conferences, workshops, and seminars.
Larry is an internationally regarded microbiologist and process authority in the food industry, and frequently works with food companies in this capacity to communicate the processor's regulatory responsibilities, assess risk and adequacy of controls for entire processing operations from raw materials receipt to finished product storage and distribution, and provide advice and direction with regard to regulatory impact and food safety risk that changes in operations might cause. As such, his areas of expertise range from applied food microbiology and sanitation methods, the development and application of thermal and non-thermal processing and preservation technologies, including high-pressure processing, microwave and pulsed electric field, high-powered ultrasound and design and implementation of food safety management and control systems and strategies.
Finally, Food Safety Magazine is proud to have Larry as a member of our editorial advisory board.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Larry Keener about:
His leadership role with the Global Harmonization Initiative
Four cutting-edge technologies in food processing
How regulatory agencies react to new food processing and manufacturing technologies
What it's like working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Food Safety Inspection Service when presenting new food processing methods and technologies
How many of you are in manufacturing? Understanding your role in making food safe
Acceptance of hygienic facility design
Larry's thoughts on the possibility of reduced government funding for food safety initiatives
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.