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.
Will Daniels is president of the produce division at IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group. In this role, Will is responsible for lab and consulting services for the produce industry. Prior to joining IEH, Will was president and CEO of Fresh Integrity Group, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in operations and food safety consulting for the fresh produce and perishables industries. He was recently involved in the cold-pressed juice industry, working with two startups to develop their operations. Prior to his involvement with start-up companies, Will was with Earthbound Farm from 1999 until 2014. Having leadership roles in both quality assurance and operations, he helped the company grow from a small, regional salad producer to the nation’s largest grower, packer, and shipper of organic produce. As Earthbound Farm’s Chief Food Integrity Officer, Daniels was responsible for food safety, food quality, and the company’s organic integrity program. Before joining Earthbound Farm, Will worked for 15 years as a consultant in the foodservice sector; working in the back of the house designing menus, introducing food safety and, improving costs; he even had his own catering business.
Will is a sought-after speaker and has addressed key issues in food safety in the produce industry at meetings of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Restaurant Association, the Institute of Food Technologists and the International Association for Food Protection. He was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Food Safety Summit in Washington, DC, was one of the Packer 25 annual list of produce leaders for 2013 and was named one of the food industry’s top food safety leaders by Marler/Clark’s Food Safety News in 2013. He has also been featured in a variety of national news stories on food safety with media such as The New York Times and ABC News’s Good Morning America; he is the author of two book chapters, “Effectively Managing through a Crisis,” in Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce, published by Wiley in 2009 and “Pathogen Testing in Fresh Produce: Earthbound Farm,” in Global Safety of Fresh Produce; A Handbook of Best Practice, Innovative Commercial Collations and Case Studies, published by Woodhead Publishing in 2014. An active leader in the food industry, Will serves on a variety of boards and technical committees.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Will Daniels about:
How Earthbound Farm responded to a deadly E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak linked to fresh spinach
The complexities and challenges of the supply chain
Balancing food safety needs with marketing objectives
The importance of education along every point of the supply chain
Low product pricing and its effect on food safety
Misconceptions about FSMA regulations
Getting the C-suite to understand the value of investing in food safety
Hal is a public health professional who has worked in the investigation of foodborne and other disease outbreaks with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has also performed funded research on causation of diseases at Emory University.
Hal has worked in the prevention of intentional adulteration of foods for U.S. Army Reserves Consequence Management Unit, then on the design and implementation of preventative controls for food safety hazards in the food industry while serving as director of food and product safety at Chick-fil-A.
Hal is past chairman of the National Restaurant Association Quality Assurance Executive Study Group, past board member of the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC Industry Partnerships, and past President of the Georgia Association for Food Protection an affiliate of the International Association of Food Protection.
Hal’s company, Public Health Innovations developed The Food Safety Lab, a website that facilitates open access to best practices in food safety for the food industry.
He is now writing a new book to help the industry ensure food safety in restaurant operations called Active Managerial Control: Implementing Food Safety Management Systems in a Retail Food Service Business.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Hal King about:
How to design a food safety management system that can enable control of risk factors that contribute to foodborne illness
His time at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and how it helped him to understand food safety management
How and where food safety hazards occur in the restaurant environment
Turnover in the foodservice industry, and how it can be a setback in terms of food safety
How health inspections work and the important role they play in food safety
HACCP in a restaurant environment vs. in a food manufacturing facility
Food hazards that get the most--and least--attention at the restaurant level
Why some restaurant chains are reluctant to implement daily monitoring and other food safety systems
The top food safety challenge facing restaurants today
How spending $10,000 on food safety could potentially save millions in preventing a recall, outbreak, etc.
How consumers' perceptions of food safety have shifted, according to multiple studies
Industry vs. consumers: Who bears responsibility when it comes to handling and preparing foods at home?
Educational and career advice for young professionals interested in a food safety career
Dr. Darin Detwiler is the Assistant Dean of Graduate Academic and Faculty Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He is also the Lead Academic of the MS in Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industry and Professor of Food Policy. In addition to being the Founder and President of Detwiler Consulting Group, LLC, Dr. Detwiler serves as the Executive Vice President for Public Health at the International Food Authenticity Assurance Organization. Dr. Detwiler serves on numerous committees and advisory panels related to food science, nutrition, fraud, and policy.
In 2004, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed Detwiler to two terms on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's national advisory committee for meat and poultry inspection. He later advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Senior Policy Coordinator for a leading national food safety advocacy organization, where his committee work and presentations supported the FDA’s progress towards implementation of Food Safety Modernization Act by bringing forward the true burden of disease to various federal, state, and industry audiences.
He is a sought-after speaker and has addressed key issues in food safety at corporate and regulatory training events, as well as national and international events in Spain, Dubai, and the UK. He has been featured as a speaker before VTEC, STEC CAP, Food Safety Summit, Conference for Food Protection, National Food Policy Conference, AFDO regional events, FDA regional seminars, and multiple state public and environmental health conferences.
Detwiler is a contributing writer to numerous food industry publications and is quoted frequently by journalists across the country. A consumer food safety advocate since his son’s death from E.coli during the landmark 1993 “Jack-in-the-Box” outbreak, Detwiler has been featured in a variety of national news stories on food safety with media such as The New York Times, Food Safety News, CNN, NPR, PBS’s Frontline, CNBC, and ABC’s Good Morning America. A Navy submarine veteran, Detwiler holds a Doctorate in Law and Policy at Northeastern University with his research on state food regulatory capacity and alignment with federal policy.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Darin Detwiler about:
How his son's unexpected death led to an unplanned career in food policy and food safety
The positive policy changes and technological advancements the food industry has seen in the Jack in the Box outbreak in 1993
The difference between the 1993 outbreak and Chipotle's recent food safety issues
Pushback he experienced from the food industry when speaking out about his son's death and Jack in the Box's negligence
The importance of the food industry understanding that their mistakes have a lasting impact on thousands of lives
Working to make E. coli a common household term that consumers know, understand and ultimately prevent
The lack of food safety focus in schools
The evolution and trajectory of the food safety career path
We also speak with Marianne Gravely (USDA) and Hilary Thesmar (FMI) about:
How industry can support the importance of the "Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill" concept as consumers head into the Thanksgiving holiday
How consumers can prevent cross-contamination when grocery shopping for meat and poultry products
Messaging and concepts that retailers should be educating consumers about
The most frequently asked questions submitted to the USDA's Meat & Poultry Hotline
Educational materials and resources available to both retailers and consumers
About Marianne Gravely
Marianne joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Meat and Poultry Hotline staff in 1988. As the senior technical information specialist, she provides consumers with safe food handling guidance daily through phone, live-chat and email inquiries and is one of the persons behind the USDA virtual representative “Ask Karen” answering food safety questions. She also researches and writes materials for the Food Safety Inspection Service website, and handles media inquiries.Marianne has a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics with an emphasis in foods and nutrition from Hood College in Frederick, MD. She received her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Tech.
About Hilary Thesmar
In her role as the chief food and product safety officer and senior vice president of food safety programs for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Dr. Thesmar provides leadership for all safety programs for FMI’s retail and wholesale members and provides support for members on food safety training programs, FSMA training, recall plans and management, crisis management, research, and overall safety and sanitation programs. Dr. Thesmar has a Ph.D. in Food Technology from Clemson University, a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University, a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from Clemson, and she is a Registered Dietitian. She has over a decade of experience in scientific and regulatory affairs with food trade associations.
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This special BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters focuses on Listeria Right Now, an environmental Listeria test offering molecular-level accuracy, with no enrichment and a total time to results of under one hour. This innovative food safety product was introduced at the annual IAFP meeting this year, with many people remarking that it was a “game changer”.
Because of the pervasiveness of Listeria in the environment, the risk that Listeria can be introduced into a food processing facilities can happen at any time. The goal of an environmental monitoring program is to verify the effectiveness of contamination control programs, identify microbial harborage sites, and ensure that corrective actions have eliminated organisms such as Listeria from the plant.
With the intent of helping to control this ubiquitous pathogen in food processing facilities, Neogen has developed a one-hour Listeria test that features the total elimination of the enrichment process. Neogen’s new Listeria Right Now test is fast and flexible enough to be used in a “seek and destroy” mode, as well as to identify vectors and sources of contamination.
To understand the practical applications of this innovative new pathogen test and the possibilities it brings to food processing and production we spoke with Jim Topper, a senior marketing development manager with Neogen.
In this episode, we speak with Neogen’s Jim Topper about:
Conventional environmental monitoring methods and how Listeria Right Now has moved the needle.
FDA’s guidance on Listeria testing that supports “seek and destroy” methods.
What the Listeria Right Now actually is.
Obtaining Listeria test results in under one hour and the timeline to results.
The types of validations performed for the Listeria Right Now system.
How this product will be used throughout the food industry.
Whether the product should be used for all Listeria testing.
Dr. David Acheson, is the founder and CEO of The Acheson Group and brings more than 30 years of medical and food safety research and experience to provide strategic advice as well as recall and crisis management support to food companies and ancillary technology companies on a global basis on all matters relating to food safety and food defense.
David graduated from the University of London Medical School and practiced internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United Kingdom until 1987 when he moved to the New England Medical Center and became an Associate Professor at Tufts University in Boston, studying the molecular pathogenesis of foodborne pathogens.
Prior to forming The Acheson Group, David served as the Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and then joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Chief Medical Officer at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). After serving as the director of CFSAN’s Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response, David was appointed as the Assistant and then Associate Commissioner for Foods, which provided him an agency-wide leadership role for all food and feed issues and the responsibility for the development of the 2007 Food Protection Plan, which served as the basis for many of the authorities granted to FDA by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
From 2009 to 2013 he was a partner at Leavitt Partners where he managed Leavitt Partners Global Food Safety Solutions.
David has published extensively and is internationally recognized both for his public health expertise in food safety and his research in infectious diseases. He is a sought-after speaker and regular guest on national news programs. He serves on a variety of boards and food safety advisory groups of several major food manufacturers.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to David Acheson about:
His role in building the 2007 Food Protection Plan and how it parallels FSMA
The importance of the food safety crises that took place in 2006 and 2007
The differences between food fraud, food security, food defense and food adulteration, and how sometimes these instances do not necessarily implicate a public health risk
His advice to food companies gearing up to comply with FSMA's food defense regulations
Facing the realities of determining whether your food plant is at risk of committing a food-related crime
How to advocate for more or better resources, and how to convince the C-suite to invest in food safety
Balancing food safety goals with a company's other metrics—sales, margins, etc.
The main challenges he sees facing food companies
His views on announced vs. unannounced audits
How the Peanut Corporation of America debacle helped shape FSMA's Preventive Controls rule and how it forced some food companies to rebuild their own supply and control programs
His thoughts on how legal roadblocks keep food safety violations from ever coming to light
This special BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters brings you a discussion about an application of next-generation sequencing — metagenomics.
As the cost of DNA testing decreases, practical applications are increasing, with one of the most exciting applications available being the use of sequencing to identify microorganisms in samples, including unculturable organisms. The value proposition of the 16s metagenomic application is that you can identify spoilage organisms in your facility, eliminate them and reduce the possibility of spoiled products reaching your consumers thus reducing your overall cost of quality.
We will be speaking with Joe Heinzelmann, Director of Business development for food safety genomics at Neogen. Joe began his career as a nanotechnology chemist and has since focused on marketing and business development efforts. He graduated from Albion College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and from Northwood University with an MBA. 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:
Adoption of whole-genome sequencing by federal regulatory agencies and food processing companies.
How metagenomics differs from how agencies are using whole-genome sequencing.
What 16s metagenomics is and how is it used in plants.
What kinds of data are being discovered with 16s metagenomics?
What food industry trends can benefit from next-generation sequencing.
Understanding the differences in data provided by whole-genome sequencing vs. metagenomics analyses.
After obtaining her B.Sc. in poultry science from the University of Florida and serving in the meat and poultry industry, Trish began her career in food safety in 1997 as director of process and product development at ABC Research Corporation in Gainesville, FL. In 2004, she joined SGS, Consumer Testing Services, as the regional operations director for the Americas until 2009 when she became director of food safety systems for Eurofins Scientific. She is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance Lead Instructor for Human Foods, an International HACCP Alliance Instructor and is currently President of her own consulting company, PA Wester Consulting, where she utilizes her broad experience in food safety testing and accredited certification auditing to support her food industry client base through the complexities of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation. In 2017, she launched the Association for Food Safety Auditing Professionals, a 501(C)(3) trade association to provide a platform to support the food safety auditing community.
She is active on numerous committees and councils, including as a member of the Food Safety Summit Education Advisory Board, and past Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Auditor Competence and Global Regulatory Affairs Technical Working Groups.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Trish Wester about:
The types of audits conducted within the food industry and how they differ
How exacting standards for third-party auditing became part of FSMA
How FSMA implementation will change the way that auditing has always been performed
Auditing for food safety preventive controls vs. the robust systems that already exist for HACCP
What it will take to create audits that are as robust and viable as the ones that were performed pre-FSMA
How food plants are adapting to preventive controls rules in light of FSMA implementation and compliance deadlines
Apparent gaps in how FDA has structured FSMA regulations
How companies are working to meet FSMA compliance deadlines in a relatively short period of time
What happens when an auditor does not have specific training and experience in the food sector they’re evaluating
What kinds of skills should a qualified auditor possess
How scoring of audits works
The challenges of training an auditor to be well-versed in all FDA-regulated food sectors