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.
Nevin Perera is the research & development manager for PerkinElmer where he and his team have developed a range of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) including Solus One Salmonella, Solus One Listeria, and Solus One Escherichia coli.
Nevin’s career started at the University of Birminghamin the UK, where he was studying for a B.Sc. (Hons) in microbiology before transitioning to a M.Sc. in toxicology and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. He was researching the regulation of phospholipase C in yeast under different environmental and chemical stresses. He continued his academic career in the Department of Cell Signalling and Immunology, University of Dundee, carrying out postdoctoral research on the regulation of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN, finishing with 10 peer-reviewed publications. Upon leaving academia, Nevin focused his career on ELISA and lateral flow device development, doing outstanding work at Merck Millipore, Mediawatch Plc., and now PerkinElmer.
Dr. Scott Brooks is the Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Tyson Foods. Previously, Scott held similar food safety, quality, and regulatory executive positions at Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, and Yum! Brands after serving as a Public Health Officer in the Air Force. His Doctorate is in Veterinary Medicine with Master’s degrees in both Food Microbiology and Preventive Veterinary Medicine. He served on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and is a Past-President of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
Adam Joelsson is Director of Technology and Head of Research and Development at Invisible Sentinel Inc. Having a background in microbiology and molecular biology, Adam joined Invisible Sentinel in 2008 as part of the founding team and has been integral in the development and commercialization of both Veriflow® and veriPRO® molecular diagnostic platforms. As part of the Invisible Sentinel technical team, Adam has overseen the R&D technical transfer and commercial launches of over a dozen rapid assay systems for a wide range of industrial applications, including food safety as well as beverage and food quality.
Vik Dutta has been a Senior Staff Scientist at bioMérieux for over 4 years. Prior to that, he was employed as a Senior Microbiologist at CDC. He has earned his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from MAFSU and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from North Carolina State University. Vik has been working in various aspects of food safety for over 15 years, with specific expertise in molecular biology and molecular assay development. He has authored or co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed articles/book chapters. Vik has been awarded a patent on improving isothermal detection technology and has been recognized many times for his contributions to food safety.
Hugo Gutierrez is the Global Food Safety and Quality Officer for Kerry. He has 25 years of experience in leading global, virtual, and multicultural quality, food safety, and regulatory teams. In his current position, he is responsible for developing and executing a long-term strategy to transform their quality, food safety, and employee safety into world-class systems.
Dr. John W. Spink is an assistant professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management in the Eli Broad Business College at Michigan State University (MSU). Previously, he was an assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice in the College of Social Science at MSU and in the College of Veterinary Medicine. His leadership positions include product fraud-related activities with ISO 22000, GFSI, and the U.S. Pharmacopeia. Global activities include engagements with the European Commission, INTERPOL, Codex Alimentarius, and WHO/FAO, and he served as an advisor on food fraud to the Chinese National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment. He also spent 11 years at the Chevron Corporation, and was an independent consultant, before earning a Ph.D. in packaging/anti-counterfeit strategies at MSU in 2009.
Dr. Randy Huffman joined Maple Leaf Foods in 2009 and currently serves as the Chief Food Safety and Sustainability Officer at the company. This role encompasses food safety and quality, occupational health, safety and security, environmental sustainability and compliance, animal care, and corporate engineering.
Randy also leads the company's Food Safety Advisory Council, a team of external experts with the mandate to increase Maple Leaf's access to global knowledge and expertise in food safety, including best practices, regulatory compliance, microbiology, and fostering a food safety culture.
Prior to joining Maple Leaf Foods, Dr. Huffman served as President of the American Meat Institute (AMI) Foundation, as well as Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs, for 9 years at AMI.
Randy was previously featured in Ep. 33 of Food Safety Matters.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Randy [34:40] about:
Maple Leaf's initial response to COVID
Commemorating the 11th anniversary of the 2008 tragic Listeria event
Answering NAMI's call to share their pandemic response plan
Having a culture of accountability
Working with local, provincial, and federal agencies
Impact of COVID on food safety
Powerful connections between health and safety and food safety
Bob Gravani is Professor Emeritus of food science and Director Emeritus of the National Good Agricultural Practices Program at Cornell University. There, he's been actively engaged in Extension and outreach, teaching, and research activities. His food safety career spans 40 years and includes work with all sectors of the food system. He has developed innovative programs for constituents in production agriculture, food processing, food retail, and foodservice, as well as for regulatory agencies and consumers.
Bob earned his bachelor's degree in food science from Rutgers University as well as his master's and Ph.D. degrees in food science from Cornell University. He is a past president of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and is an IAFP Fellow.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Bob [16:30] about:
His work with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
How research, science, and technology have changed the food safety arena
How the idea of food safety has evolved over the years
Challenges related to making sure people who work in the food industry understand the impact of their jobs
Good Manufacturing Practices and how not following them can lead to food system failures
The concept of being unconsciously competent
The importance of new training techniques, adult education, and behavioral science
Why food safety culture is such a poorly understood concept