Epidemiologist Bill Keene was posthumously awarded the 2014 NSF Food Safety Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday at the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore, MD. Keene was a senior epidemiologist for the Oregon Public Health Division (OPHD) whose work involved breakthroughs on investigations into major foodborne illness outbreaks, including the spinach E. coli outbreak of 2006 and the Nestlé Toll House cookie dough E. coli outbreak of 2009.

Left to right: Jason Bashura, Brian Nummer, Gina Nicholson of NSF International Food Division, and Bill Marler.
Because Keene died in December 2013, food safety attorney and Food Safety News publisher Bill Marler accepted the award on his behalf. The award will be displayed at OPHD for Keene’s colleagues and then sent on to his widow, Elise Gautier. NSF International also presented two awards in the category of training and education. One went to Jason Bashura for his work as a senior food defense analyst with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where he oversaw the development of the Food Related Emergency Exercise Bundle (FREE-B), a toolkit of simulation scenarios to help organizations assess their ability to respond to food contamination incidents. Bashura also provided technical guidance to the Innovative Food Defense Program and helped secure FDA funding to support development of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention e-learning tool to help frontline environmental health professionals improve readiness for foodborne disease outbreaks. The second went to Brian Nummer, an extension food safety specialist for Utah State University who has trained more than 6,000 food workers in manager food safety and another 2,000 on topics such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), advanced sanitation and behavior-based food safety.