Last week, Food Safety News acknowledged leaders in government, education, non-government organizations, consumer groups and the media who help keep our food supply safe. Today we end our series focusing on food safety leaders by naming names in the food industry. Of course, no list is ever complete so if you think we’ve forgotten someone, please leave us a note in the comments.
The names that grace this list recognize that food safety must be a top priority for their brands and have made innovations to keep our food supply safer part of their daily routines. Here, we recognize companies that have gone the extra mile for their customers by taking steps like testing for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli before it was mandatory and discontinuing the sale of sprouts. We also acknowledge the work of industry leaders who have taken proactive steps to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks or who consult with food companies to do the same.
Will Daniels is senior vice president of operations and organic integrity for Earthbound Farm. Under his leadership, Earthbound Farm has developed industry-leading food safety and organic integrity programs. Daniels is a member on several board committees including the board of directors of the California Certified Organic Farmers.
David Gombas, PhD
David Gombas currently serves as the Vice President of Scientific and Technical Affairs at United Fresh Produce Association. Dr. Gombas provides technical, food safety, regulatory and public policy assistance for the fresh and fresh-cut produce industry.
Robert G. Hibbert, JD
Rob Hibbert is a partner in Morgan Lewis’ FDA and Healthcare Practice. He focuses his practice on federal regulation of the food and agricultural industries, with an emphasis on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He also advises clients with regard to food safety and security, animal health, biotechnology, labeling, advertising, and new product development.
Joan Menke-Schaenzer is chief global quality officer for ConAgra Foods. In this role, she leads programs to create a world-class foundation for quality and food safety through the standardization of best practices through ConAgra.
Payton Pruett, PhD
Payton Pruett is Vice President of Corporate Food Technology and Regulatory Compliance for The Kroger Co. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Purdue University and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Food Protection.
Bo Reagan, PhD
Bo Reagan is Senior Vice President for Research, Education and Innovation at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He coordinated the development and implementation of the National Beef Instrument Assessment Plan, Customer Satisfaction studies, Microbial Mapping studies, NCBA’s Carcass Merit Studies, the Beef Industry’s E. coli Summit, and the Beef Industry’s BSE Summit. He was also instrumental in the development of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council and currently serves as Chairman of that group.
David Theno, PhD
Dave Theno is currently CEO of Gray Dog Partners, Inc., a technical consulting business specializing in food safety, food manufacturing, restaurant operations, supply chain management and strategic planning. Before joining Gray Dog Partners, Theno was senior vice president and chief food safety officer for Jack in the Box, Inc.
Craig Wilson is the vice president, general merchandising manager of quality assurance/food safety, non-foods quality assurance and merchandise services for Costco Wholesale. Costco’s food-safety audit systems, testing of fresh foods, X-ray product inspection, and unique positions on the Global Food Safety Initiative and the global regulatory environment are well-known industry-wide.
Frank Yiannas, MPH
Frank Yiannas is Vice President of Food Safety for Walmart. He oversees all food safety and other public health functions for the world’s largest food retailer as well as the training and education of thousands of employees, hundreds of food suppliers, and is responsible for ensuring Walmart’s regulatory compliance.
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