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.
Vidya Ananth is VP of Food Safety at Novolyze, where she leads Food Safety and Quality and its digitalization, Application Support, and Customer Success. As you are about to hear, she is extremely knowledgeable and has some great advice and thoughts to help you move forward with digitalizing your processes.
Vidya has been in the food industry for over 25 years working with General Mills, The National Food Lab, Safeway, Clorox, and Kohana Coffee - making significant contributions in the areas of food safety, quality, and regulatory affairs with a main goal to bend the curve of food borne illness globally.
Wendy White is the Industry Manager for Food and Beverage for Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Program (GaMEP). She serves as GaMEP’s food safety expert to Georgia food businesses by providing educational outreach and aiding the improvement of food safety and quality systems.
Before joining academia in 2019, Wendy spent the first 17 years of her career in food manufacturing and distribution, most recently as a Corporate Director of Food Safety & Quality for Golden State Foods.
Ryk Lues, Ph.D., holds the position of Professor of Food Safety and Director of the Centre for Applied Food Sustainability and Biotechnology (CAFSaB) at the Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa. His main field of specialization involves social-behavioral aspects that impact food safety and organizational food safety culture. He serves on several national regulatory and legal advisory teams, acts as an expert witness, and has held the office of vice president of the South African Association of Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST). He is a National Research Foundation of South Africa-rated scientist.
Dr. Frank Busta is the director emeritus of the Food Protection & Defense Institute (formerly the National Center for Food Protection and Defense NCFPD) and professor emeritus of food microbiology at the University of Minnesota. He was named as the first director of the Food Protection & Defense Institute in 2004. Previously, he held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University, and the University of Florida. He served as chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition from 1984 to 1987 at the University of Florida and head of the Department of Food Science & Nutrition, University of Minnesota, from 1987 to 1997. Dr. Busta’s research areas are in food safety, growth, and survival of microorganisms after environmental stress in food, microbial ecology, and food defense. He has published more than 125 refereed research papers. He has served as Chief Technology Advisor on a UNDP project in China on agri-processing within the WTO framework.
Dr. Michele Sayles has over 21 years of experience in Food Safety, Quality, and Food Microbiology. As I mentioned, Michele’s current role is Executive Director of Food Safety and Quality for Diamond Pet Foods. Prior to joining Diamond, Michele was responsible for the Global Food Safety and Microbiology Program at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. She has also held key Food Safety and Quality positions across various industries. She was the Sr. Corporate Quality Assurance & Food Safety Manager for the Sara Lee Corporation; the Director of HACCP and Food Safety for Seaboard Foods; and Director of Pork Safety for the National Pork Board. Michele holds a Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Science degree from Kansas State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.
Dr. Ruth Petran is a passionate yet practical food safety scientist, and Principal of Ruth Petran Consulting, LLC. Prior to starting her own business, Ruth held technical food safety and public health leadership roles at Ecolab, Pillsbury and General Mills. She is skilled at tactical application of technical food safety risk management strategies, spanning the global farm to fork supply chain and has focused on managing safety and quality concerns of microbiologically sensitive foods and systems. She has led food safety assessments at food manufacturing facilities worldwide, focusing on applied HACCP systems and regulatory compliance.
Dr. Petran is President-Elect of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and served two terms on the US National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods. She is a Certified Food Scientist and chaired the Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force.