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.
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
Hal King, Ph.D., is a recognized leader in public health. He's worked in government, industry, and education. Currently, Hal is the managing partner at Active Food Safety, a new advisory services and digital products company. He is also the founder and CEO of Public Health Innovations, a public health strategy and design company. In addition, Hal serves as an associate professor of public health at the University of Georgia.
As a public health professional, Hal has investigated foodborne and other disease outbreaks at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, he's performed federally funded research on the causation and prevention of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine. Hal also worked in the prevention of intentional adulteration of foods and food defense for the Army Force Health Protection. Another one of his prior roles was as the director of food and product safety at Chick-fil-A. There, he designed and led the company's food safety management program for 11 years.
Hal is the author and co-author of several books, articles, and chapters on public health interventions, including safe food manufacturing and food allergen controls in foodservice. His newest book, Food Safety Management Systems, is published as part of the International Association for Food Protection's Food Microbiology Series by Springer.
Lone Jespersen is the principal at Cultivate, an organization dedicated to helping food manufacturers globally make safe, great-tasting food through cultural effectiveness. Lone has significant experience with food manufacturing, having previously spent 11 years with Maple Leaf Foods. Following the tragic event in 2008 when Maple Leaf products claimed 23 Canadian lives, Lone led the execution of Maple Leaf's food strategy and its operations learning strategy. She holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Syd Dansk University (Denmark), and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in food science from the University of Guelph (Canada).
Marie Tanner joined the Dairy Farmers of America in 2017. She is currently the senior vice president of food safety and quality. Prior to that, Marie was the global chief food safety and quality, health, safety, and environment management at Kerry. Before Kerry, Marie held various quality leadership roles at PepsiCo and Godiva (Ulker). Marie holds an M.Sc. in food science from Rutgers University. She formally served on the board of SSAFE, a global nonprofit working to integrate food safety, animal health, and plant health across food supply chains.
Neil Coole is the director of food and retail supply chain at BSI Americas. In 2015, Neil joined BRC Global Standards to head up their global key account strategy, engaging key industry brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers to understand their requirements from a risk solutions perspective. He was the subject matter expert on BRC Global Standards' new strategy on food safety and quality culture excellence, working with manufacturers on how to embed a culture of food safety and training food manufacturers, brand owners, and suppliers on the important topic of food safety and quality culture excellence.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to the panel [11:46] about:
Organizational culture and how it influences food safety
How a company's culture is created from the top down
How food safety culture can and should give an organization a competitive edge
COVID's impact on food safety culture
Why the idea of "implementing" a food safety culture is problematic
Some wrong ways to go about creating change within an organization's culture
Diversity and inclusion, and how they play a role in changing a company's culture
How to begin undoing a history of complacency within a company's current culture
Tips for improving and sustaining a positive culture
This episode features a panel of the Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance (FSPCA)'s lead instructors. They discuss virtual food safety training in the age of COVID.
Connie Landis Fisk is a northwest regional extension associate for the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA). PSA has a temporary policy allowing its trainers to deliver their Grower Training Course remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Connie offers a weekly office hour to share tips and answer questions about using Zoom for those remote trainings.
Amanda Evans-Lara is a principle food safety consultant and compliance specialist with HACCP Mentor, a website that provides tools, tips, and training to help food businesses comply with global, customer, and regulatory Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and food safety requirements. She has over 28 years of experience working with Australian and international food businesses. Amanda is an FSPCA lead instructor for Preventive Controls for Human Food and Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessments courses.
Charles Kalish is a managing member and co-founder of Food Safety Guides, a food safety and quality consulting and training firm that specializes in remote consulting. He is a lead instructor for FSPCA's Preventive Controls (Human and Animal), Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, and Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessment courses. Charlie is also a Safe Quality Food (SQF) trainer and lead instructor for the International Food Protection Institute (IFPTI)'s Instructor Skills Training.
Michael Kalish is a managing member and co-founder of Food Safety Guides. He is a lead instructor for FSPCA's Preventive Controls (Human and Animal), Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, and Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessment courses. Michael is also an SQF trainer and lead instructor for IFPTI's Instructor Skills Training.
A special thanks to our friend and previous podcast guest Kathy Gombas (Ep. 26) for spearheading this discussion. Kathy is a member of FSPCA's Steering Committee. She also serves on Food Safety Magazine's Editorial Advisory Board.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to the panel [12:23] about:
The features, benefits, and ins and outs of using Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other digital platforms to perform food safety certification courses
Maintaining high levels of participation and engagement during online training
How training and testing policies and procedures have changed to fit a virtual format
Conducting oral exams vs. standardized tests online
Challenges and limitations of web-based teaching and training
In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak—for the third time—to Sharon Dobesh (director of technical services) and Jerry Heath (staff entomologist) from the Industrial Fumigant Company (IFC) about insect growth regulators (IGR) and how these compounds can benefit a pest control management plan.
In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to IFC about:
The benefits of fogging and aerosol applications
How toxicity, safety, and warning labels have evolved
IGRs and how these compounds can keep insects from taking over a food facility
Fixed or remote fogging application systems
Re-entry guidelines after a fogging application
Tips for preparing for a pest control analysis
The importance of proactive pest control vs. reactive
Joe Stout is the founder of Commercial Food Sanitation, a consulting firm that provides food safety and sanitation solutions to food processing plants. Before that, Joe spent nearly 30 years at Kraft Foods. While there, he held a variety of positions related to operations, quality, and sanitation, ultimately leading to his role as Kraft's director of global product protection, sanitation, and hygienic design.
In this role at Kraft, Joe had global responsibility for plant cleaning controls and processes, allergen and pathogen control programs, pest control, and hygienic design for facilities and equipment used in more than 200 Kraft plants. Joe also managed the Global Product Protection Group, assuring global support for internal and external plants.
Joe led the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) Equipment Design Task Force and has led Listeria Intervention training for AMI and the American Frozen Food Institute. He is the current leader of the Consumer Brands Association's (formerly, the Grocery Manufacturers Association) Sanitary Design Working Group. He also conducts allergen training for the Food Allergy Research Resource Program. In addition to his involvement with these and many other leading industry organizations, Joe is a published authority when it comes to food safety, sanitation, hygiene, and other related areas.
Joe was previously featured in Ep. 42 of Food Safety Matters.
In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Joe [24:00] about:
Why Listeria is such a tricky pathogen to get rid of
Seek and destroy vs. seek and eliminate
How Kraft has handled past instances of Listeria
Why ready-to-eat products are so susceptible to Listeria contamination
Pairing a Listeria control program with environmental monitoring
Sanitation procedures for Listeria vs. Salmonella
A company's options when a complete food facility rebuild or redesign is not possible
Advice for cleaning equipment
Swabbing frequency tips
Why completely avoiding Listeria in certain food plants is impossible