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.
In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to two experts from Phoseon. Theresa Thompson is an application scientist for Phoseon's Life Science Group. Jay Pasquantonio is the strategy director for Phoseon's Life Science Group. Theresa and Jay discuss the use of ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV LED) technology to reduce pathogens in food.
In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Phoseon about:
Phoseon's use of UV LED disinfection systems to reduce and control foodborne pathogens from food products and contact surfaces
The potential to use UV LED to treat beverages, produce, packaging, and various surfaces
The overall benefits of using UV light, particularly in food processing
Environments and instances that are ideal (and not ideal) for Phoseon's food safety applications
Why traditional or more aggressive methods to eliminate pathogens may not be desirable
The risks of purchasing UV LED equipment and systems from commercial market sellers
Worker safety when using UV LED lights
Upcoming research and product innovation within Phoseon
Oscar Garrison is the senior vice president of food safety regulatory affairs at United Egg Producers. Previously, he was the director of food safety with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. As a past president of the Association of Food and Drug Officials, Oscar led the national organization's efforts to promote an integrated food safety system by working with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies and industry.
Oscar earned his B.Sc. in Forensic Science and Technology from Jacksonville State University.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Oscar [20:25] about:
How his background in forensic science led him to an unexpected career in food safety
The most challenging aspects of being a state regulator
How state regulatory bodies work with federal and local agencies to investigate foodborne illness outbreaks
Why having specialized staff and maintaining those staff members are crucial at the state regulatory level
How state regulators can help educate small and independent producers
Inspection changes implemented in Georgia after the Peanut Corporation of America case
His thoughts on data related to recent research on Salmonella and eggs
Common questions and misconceptions about eggs and egg safety
Whether or not a single food safety agency is a good idea
Creative ways to use digital technology to ensure that state regulators can do their jobs
Social media and regulators' responsibility to educate the public on food safety matters
Dr. Laura Gieraltowski leads the Foodborne Outbreak Response Team in the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. She leads the team that helps coordinate the national network of epidemiologists and other public health officials who investigate outbreaks of foodborne and other enteric illnesses.
Laura is a graduate of CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service Program. She received a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and has a Masters of Public Health degree in behavioral health sciences from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She has worked at the CDC since 2009 and has been involved in numerous multistate outbreak investigations leading to the identification and recall of food products.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Laura [14:39] about:
CDC's role in foodborne outbreak investigations
How CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis vs. whole-genome sequencing, and why the former is no longer the standard method for DNA fingerprinting when investigating a foodborne outbreak
How outbreak investigations become more or less complicated depending on what type of food product is involved
Changes and advancements coming to food safety within the next 5–10 years
Cindy Jiang is a senior director, Global Food and Packaging Safety, Global Supply Chain & Sustainability, for McDonald’s Corporation. Her responsibilities include developing food safety strategic plans, leading the effort to establish and maintain strong global supplier food safety and quality management systems and programs, having science- and risk-based food safety standards and policies, anticipating and managing food-related emerging issues, supporting the markets with farm-to-restaurant food safety practices, and elevating the food safety culture within the corporation, supplier, and franchisee communities.
Cindy has been the lead for McDonald’s Food Safety Advisory Council since 2002, a forum for sharing food safety knowledge and best practices among leading suppliers and external experts. She has been actively engaged with industry and government collaboration on food safety. She has served on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Board since 2008 and is currently a member of the Board for SSAFE and IFIC.
Cindy began her career with the McDonald’s Corporation after receiving an M.Sc. in food science and nutrition from the University of Wisconsin in 1990. She has held various positions at McDonald’s Corporation, from a food chemist to a quality assurance consultant, a senior quality assurance manager, and a director of food safety. Cindy has been actively engaged in leading the effort on harmonization of food safety standards by working with the food suppliers, the foodservice industry, certification program owners, and auditing firms since early 2007. She is a senior member of the American Society for Quality and has been a member of Institute of Food Technologists since 1989. She is also a current member of the International Association of Food Protection. She is passionate about advancing food safety for the benefit of consumers.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Cindy [19:43] about:
The importance of meetings, team building activities, and volunteering in an effort to keep food safe
The collaborative process McDonald's follows when new equipment needs to be developed
McDonalds' approach to new employee training
What regulators are looking for when they visit a foodservice establishment
Understanding why collaboration is necessary and valuable
Why food safety is not an area of competition
McDonalds' three-leg stool system
How McDonald's communicates with its many suppliers
How McDonald's suppliers are required to have at least one GFSI benchmark certification
Why there are so many benchmarked schemes, and why having a consolidated benchmarked scheme isn't feasible
Government-to-government and government-to-business meetings
Food safety culture
Why every business within the food sector should be ready for an unannounced visit 24/7
McDonald's and World Food Safety Day
The ongoing challenge of meeting consumers' ever-changing expectations
Technology, predictive analytics, and using data to predict potential foodborne illnesses and outbreaks
How McDonald's has been delivering food in other countries years before it became a trend in the U.S.
The importance of mastering soft skills, communication, and networking even in a science-based field
Joan Menke-Schaenzer is the chief quality officer at Van Drunen Farms and FutureCeuticals. There, she is responsible for the safety and quality of the company's vegetable and herb growing and processing plants—both conventional and organic—as well as their nutraceutical ingredient business.
Joan's career has also included food safety and quality roles in manufacturing, foodservice, and retail. She's led McDonalds' global supply chain, safety, and compliance organization. She spearheaded food safety and quality at ConAgra, Walmart, and Kraft as well.
Joan served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Advisory Committee and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Board of Scientific Counselors Food Safety Modernization Act Implementation Working Group.
Joan earned her B.Sc. in food science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Joan [17:09] about:
Challenges she's experienced across the supply chain at various levels of the food industry
The importance of communication and soft skills in food safety
How creative thinking can advance food safety success
Her involvement in past foodborne outbreaks and how being proactive was the best decision for public health
Issuing a recall even before a clear root cause was confirmed
Gaining support from employers when it comes to joining industry and trade associations
Why it's imperative to have existing relationships with regulators before a crisis occurs
The benefits of epidemiological traceback and it can help in the event of an outbreak
Proactively managing supply chains with GFSI audits
Consumer research and combining that with risk assessment
The benefits of partnering with suppliers
How she used whole-genome sequencing to pinpoint the source of a growth niche
Her views on blockchain and how it may not be the answer at all levels of the food supply chain
How becoming responsible for profit and loss changed how she approached food safety decision-making
Why it's important to build a support network throughout your career
Dr. Robert (Bob) Powitz is the principal and technical director of R.W.Powitz & Associates. There, he specializes in forensic sanitation services to industry, law firms, insurance companies, and government agencies. Bob has dedicated his career to food safety having worked for over 54 years to study, develop, and implement the most effective sanitation practices.
Bob has served as director of environmental health and safety and biological safety officer at Wayne State University where he also held the title of Adjunct Associate Professor in the College of Engineering. He also served as director of biological safety and environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as health director for five different towns in Connecticut.
He is currently the public health consultant for the Bucks County, PA, Department of Corrections.
Bob received his undergraduate education in agronomy and plant pathology from the State University of New York and the University of Georgia. He holds a M.Sc. in Public Health with a specialty in institutional environmental health and a Ph.D. in environmental health, with specialties in environmental microbiology and epidemiology from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He also has a very long list of honors including, most impressively, a spot on the Food Safety Magazine Editorial Advisory Board.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Bob [35:25] about:
The overuse of chemicals and sanitizers and why relying too much on them is a problem
Faulty ventilation systems, condensation, and leaks—how these problems can lead to the active growth of biofilm
His plan of action when he sees chemicals being used incorrectly in a food plant
Integrated cleaning and measurement
New clean-in-place methods, steam, dry ice, carbon dioxide, hydrogen peroxide, and other green ways to clean
Why the regulatory community needs to buy into green cleaning methods
Assessing a cleaning and sanitizing methodologies
Why more cleaning products need to be evaluated to a standard like NSF International
Innovating cleaning technologies that have originated in Europe, the Pacific Rim, and elsewhere.
An example of a time he could not find the source of confirmed Listeria contamination in a ready-to-eat processing facility