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.
Don Schaffner is distinguished professor and Extension Specialist in food science at Rutgers University. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers on a variety of topics including handwashing, cross-contamination, quantitative microbial risk assessment, and predictive food microbiology. Dr. Schaffner is active in several scientific associations, including the International Association for Food Protection where he is a past-president.
Ben Chapman is associate professor and food safety Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University. There, with the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Ben is also a contributor to the very popular Barfblog.
Jorge Hernandez is the chief food safety and compliance officer for Wholesome International, a restaurant company with different concepts and brands in the quick and fast casual foodservice markets in the U.S. He is responsible for food safety, quality, regulatory compliance, and sustainability for the organization. This includes developing structure and reporting lines for the staff, risk-based policies and procedures that meet or exceed FDA, USDA, and/or state regulations, as well as the department leadership and oversight over the company’s suppliers, restaurants, processing facilities, and distribution.
Previously, Hernandez worked for 12 years as the senior vice president for food safety and quality assurance at US Foods where he developed the food safety, quality, and food regulatory program for a corporation that included more than 80 distribution centers, 14 processing facilities, and over 550 private label co-packers with 1,600 facilities across all segments of the food industry.
Earlier, Jorge was the vice president of food safety and risk management at the National Restaurant Association where he led the development of the award-winning ServSafe food safety training program for the restaurant industry.
Jorge started his career as a regulator and held positions at the state and the Winnebago County health departments in Illinois, U.S. He has earned degrees in biology from Rockford University, microbiology from the Centro de Estudios Medico-Biologicos in Mexico City Mexico, and languages and literature from la Universite de la Sorbonne, Paris, France.
Jorge is the board member of several industry organizations, including STOP Foodborne, the International Food Protection Institute, and GFSI, where he co-leads the development of the International Standards for the Food Warehouse and Distribution and is currently the co-chair of the GFSI U.S./Canada Group.
Hernandez has published many articles and is a recognized consultant in the areas of food safety, food safety management systems, food safety accreditation, food safety training, and food safety operations.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Jorge about:
The art of balancing food safety science with common sense and making decisions based on both
Food safety culture and how it allows employees to speak up when food safety is at risk
Challenges of temperature control, contamination, and traceability while distributing food
The importance of working with supply chain partners who are knowledgeable about food safety and take it seriously
Why having the most sophisticated, up-to-date technology is not always enough to ensure the safety of food
Challenges faced by large food transporters that are not always problematic for smaller, local, or regional operators
The importance of using technology properly to ensure the best data and integrity possible
Best practices for transporting mixed loads
Why documentation and record-keeping are so important for times when technology may fail
His thoughts on why food distribution is not a huge target for intentional contamination
How the introduction of FSMA has helped make it safer to transport both raw product and ready-to-eat product on the same truck without cross-contamination issues
Common transportation issues and the use of trucks that are not fit to safely transport food
Working with GFSI to create international standards for transportation and warehousing
How GFSI standards compare to the FSMA Sanitary Transportation rule
Positive trends he sees with technology, big data, analytics, epidemiology, DNA, traceability, blockchain, and more.
In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we focus on next-generation sequencing and the advantages of using 16S Metagenomics to identify spoilage organisms in your facility thereby reducing the possibility of spoiled products reaching your consumers.
You will learn about a 16S Metagenomics service and how to join the 16S Challenge that gives you a chance to take advantage of the Advanced Microbial Mapping Program and get your facility biomapped at no charge.
To help us explore this new technology and service, our editorial director Barbara Van Renterghem will be speaking with Joe Heinzelmann, who specializes in food safety genomics at Neogen. Joe began his career as a nanotechnology chemist after graduating from Albion College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and with an MBA from Northwood University. Joe tells us more about the practical applications of metagenomics in eliminating spoilage organisms in a food processing facility.
In this episode, we speak to Neogen's Joe Heinzelmann about:
What is 16S Metagenomics and how it's different from Whole Genome Sequencing
What type of facilities benefit most from biomapping
How 16S Metagenomics is different from other technologies currently being used in the market
Partnering with the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation on research to understand how bacteria communities are affected by sanitation
What is the 16S Metagenomics Challenge?
Opportunites presented by using 16S Metagenomics for biomapping
Mike Cramer joins the Food Safety Matters Podcast this week for an in-depth discussion of best practices for food plant sanitation.
Michael Cramer is currently the senior director of food safety and quality assurance with Ajinomoto Windsor, Inc. The company was formed through various acquisitions (Multifoods, Specialty Brands and Windsor Foods) and ultimately the purchase of Windsor Foods by Ajinomoto. He will celebrate his 25th year with the company in October 2018.
Mike is an SQF practitioner, ASQ-certified quality auditor and a preventive controls-qualified individual. CRC Press published Mike's book “Food Plant Sanitation: Design, Maintenance and Good Manufacturing Practices” (2nd Edition, 2013).
Mike is a graduate of West Chester University in West Chester, PA where he earned a B.Sc. Health Science in 1977. He spent 16 years working with Swift & Company (Armour, Swift – Eckrich, ConAgra) in poultry operations, processed meats and poultry, and corporate food safety and quality assurance.
Finally, Mike has been an esteemed member of Food Safety Magazine's Editorial Advisory Board since 2001.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Mike about:
The characteristics of an effective sanitation program
Balancing cost-savings while implementing an effective sanitation program
The importance of the sanitation team within a food facility
His experience with testing for allergen cross-contamination from the lunch room to the plant floor
Plans for the third edition of his popular sanitation book
What he thinks is the biggest sanitation challenge in food plants today
The real reason for allergen-related food recalls
The success of his "Seek and Destroy" and "Monthly Facility Assessment" programs
What happens at Ajinomoto Windsor when a positive Listeria monocytogenes sample is detected
The seven steps of sanitation explained in detail
The role of sanitors, including what they should and shouldn't do as part of their daily jobs
The complexities of seemingly simple tasks in sanitation, such as vacuuming and floor sweeping
His tips for equipment cleaning, including his preferences when it comes to pressure washing and water temperature
His thoughts on all-encompassing equipment checks vs. random spot checks
The benefits of collecting microbiological swabs BEFORE applying sanitizer
Standard tools that all sanitors need and use
How to communicate with your chemical supplier to get the tools and resources you need for an effective sanitation program
The use of UV light in sanitation
Advice for anyone looking for new technology to improve food plant sanitation
What can happen when sanitation is not approached correctly
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 once again about:
Why the concept of validation causes so much confusion for both regulators and food safety professionals
The reason why validation and verification are not interchangeable terms
Verification by way of end product testing
How the process of validation has evolved over the years
How FSMA and HARPC have changed the validation process
Why FDA decided to build validation requirements and HARPC into new FSMA rules
Whether there really is a difference between HACCP and HARPC
Types of validation: prospective, concurrent and retrospective
The reason why concurrent validation is so often overlooked
The importance of validation when changing or reformulating a food product's manufacturing process
Examples of how food spoilage was the result of not validating a new process
The use of a multidisciplinary team to properly perform validation
HACCP decision trees vs. validation decision trees
William Weichelt is in the newly created position of director, Food Safety & Industry Relations, for the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and has over 20 years of experience in the foodservice and food manufacturing sectors.
The NRA is the largest foodservice trade association in the world by membership—supporting over 500,000 restaurant businesses. They represent and advocate for foodservice industry interests—with a focus on financial and regulatory obstacles. They also provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes get significantly better operating results as well as networking, education and research resources.
Specific to food safety their ServSafe Program provides comprehensive educational materials to the restaurant industry through face-to-face and online instruction. More than 5 million foodservice professionals have been certified through the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Examination.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to William Weichelt about:
Challenges the NRA faces with the start of their new Food Safety Industry Relations department
NRA’s current top priorities to help the industry going forward
Using food safety best practices that have been applied in manufacturing to create new best practices in foodservice and hospitality
Working with an industry that runs the gamut—from large operators with their own systems in place to independent operators who have no food science staff or expertise
The challenge of figuring out what topics to educate the industry on in the short-term, based on need, from edible marijuana to implementing a food safety management system
NRA's training and resources offered to smaller operators who do not have food safety staff
Challenges related to keeping ServSafe relevant and always in line with the FDA Food Code
Milestones that NRA has achieved as the organization's 100th-anniversary approaches
The importance of having everyone in an organization from the top down involved in the implementation and maintenance of a food safety management system
The new Food Safety Industry Relations department's future plans to help the industry in new areas: food fraud, food defense, traceability and figuring out how to apply these topics to the restaurant level, not just to manufacturers
How changing trends, consumer demand and product innovations impact how the food industry operates and how it all affects the industry’s approach to food safety
Barbara interviews Deirdre Schlunegger, the CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness. Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens. Their mission is to promote sound food safety policy and best practices, build public awareness and assist those impacted by foodborne illness.
Stop Foodborne Illness was founded in 1993 in the wake of the Jack-in-the-Box E. coli outbreak by a group of foodborne illness victims and friends in order to address the void they saw in the national food policy arena.
Since then, Stop Foodborne Illness has become a respected leader in consumer advocacy and is regularly consulted by government officials, industry leaders, academia, public health organizations, members of Congress, and the media on issues concerning food safety.
Deirdre joined Stop Foodborne Illness in August 2010 bringing over 25 years of nonprofit and leadership experience. She serves as an advisory member of the Joint Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition and is a participating member of the Safe Food Coalition and the Make Our Food Safe Coalition and serves as Commissioner of the International Food Science Certification Commission.
If you would like to become involved with Stop Foodborne Illness's advocacy work, you can call them directly at 773-269-6555 or visit StopFoodborneIllness.org.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Deirdre Schlunegger about:
The founding of Stop Foodborne Illness
How the organization has helped to motivate regulatory reform, particularly via the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food Safety Modernization Act
Stop Foodborne Illness's consumer outreach efforts, especially for food outbreaks and recalls
Consumer materials made available via Stop Foodborne Illness on topics such as handwashing, grocery shopping, food handling and preparation
Positive cultural shifts that have taken place within the organization to a more cooperative approach with industry
The impact of telling stories to workers in the food industry vs. relying on training/technical videos
The Stop Foodborne Illness honor wall, a collection of stories from families who have been personally impacted by foodborne illness
The Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship
Future projects and collaborations with food companies, government groups, and consumer communities