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Ep. 35. John Butts: Listeria—Seek and Destroy

John Butts is the vice president of research at Land O’Frost. He first joined the company in 1974. His focus there includes the application of scientific principles and quality management technology to develop sanitation process control methods and procedures. John is mostly known for the development of the “seek and destroy” process controls for Listeria which has been adopted throughout the food industry. He is a leading expert on sanitary design and food safety culture and has given...


Neogen: Why AOAC?

In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, representatives from Neogen and AOAC INTERNATIONAL discuss the benefits of having testing methods and kits independently approved and certified. You will learn all about the beginnings of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, how the organization has evolved, and what it means for a company within the food industry to be an affiliate member. To help us better understand why AOAC INTERNATIONAL membership is a plus, our editorial director, Barbara Van...


Ep. 34. Shawn Stevens: Food Industry Counsel

Shawn Stevens is an attorney and founding member of the Food Industry Counsel, a law firm that provides food safety legal and regulatory consulting services exclusively for food industry clients, ultimately helping them anticipate, navigate, and resolve their most pressing food safety challenges. As a food industry consultant and lawyer, Shawn works throughout the U.S. and abroad with food industry clients (including the world’s largest growers, processors, restaurant chains,...


Ep. 33. Maple Leaf Foods: Food Safety After Tragedy

In 2008, Maple Leaf Foods had a devastating outbreak caused by Listeria contamination at one of its prepared meats facilities. It resulted in 23 deaths and many serious illnesses. Since this tragedy, Maple Leaf Foods has committed to becoming a global leader in food safety and has invested significant people and financial resources in achieving this commitment. Maple Leaf Foods is a leading consumer protein company, making high-quality, innovative products under national brands including...


Ep. 32. Frank Yiannas: Leading Food Safety at the World's Largest Retailer

Frank Yiannas is the vice president of food safety at Walmart—the world's largest food retailer. In that role, Frank oversees all food safety—as well as other public health functions—for Walmart, serving over 200 million customers around the world on a weekly basis. His scope of responsibilities includes food safety oversight of Walmart’s stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Clubs. He is also charged with training and education of associates, food safety oversight of thousands of food...


Ep. 31. Dane Bernard: Taking the Lead on HACCP

Dane Bernard is currently the managing director of Bold Bear Food Safety where he offers consulting services. Prior to that, he served as the vice president of food safety and quality assurance at Keystone Foods until 2014. That role also included responsibilities over global programs on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and food safety. Before that, Dane was the vice president of food safety for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA)—formerly the National...


Ep. 30. IAFP 2018: USDA FSIS and More!

Earlier this month, the Food Safety Magazine team gathered in Salt Lake City, UT for the Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). The IAFP Annual Meeting was attended by more than 3,800 top industry, academic, and governmental food safety professionals from six continents. Each year, this premiere event for industry professionals convenes and discusses current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, and innovative solutions to new and...


Ep. 29. Sean Leighton: Where Business and Food Safety Meet

Sean Leighton is the vice president of food safety and quality for Cargill, based in Wayzata, MN. In August 2018, Sean will be moving into the role of vice president corporate food safety, quality and regulatory for Cargill when Mike Robach retires. Prior to joining Cargill, Sean worked for over 13 years at The Coca-Cola Company in various roles across quality, food safety, and environmental sustainability. He worked in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Sean has a B.Sc. in Bacteriology...


Blockchain: Facts, Fiction, and Future

In this special BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we focus on the topic of blockchain and how it can be used within the food industry. You will learn all about what exactly blockchain is, its history, and how it can be applied to our food supply chain. To help us better understand blockchain's use in the food sector, our editorial director, Barbara Van Renterghem, spoke with two experts from FoodLogiQ ( Katy Jones is the chief marketing officer at FoodLogiQ....


Ep. 28. Bob Brackett: Innovation and Research at IIT & IFSH

Dr. Bob Brackett is the vice president of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) Prior to joining IIT, Dr. Brackett served as senior vice president and chief science and regulatory officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Before that, he served at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). His initial role...


Ep. 27. Mike Robach: GFSI: Past, Present, and Future

Mike Robach is vice president, corporate food safety, quality, & regulatory for Cargill based in Minneapolis, MN. Mike joined Cargill in January 2004 to lead the company’s corporate food safety and regulatory affairs programs. Since then, Mike has increased the department’s scope to include animal health and quality assurance. He continues to refocus the department toward global efforts in line with Cargill’s vision of being the global leader in nourishing people. Mike began his career...


Ep. 26. Kathy Gombas: FSMA Guidance

Kathy Gombas is a recognized food safety expert with over 30 years of experience in the food industry specializing in preventive controls, supply chain management, food safety auditing, and regulatory affairs. Kathy retired from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after 10 years of service. She was a senior advisor at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). While at CFSAN, Kathy was in a leadership role supporting the agency’s Food Safety Modernization Act...


Ep. 25. Bill Marler: 25 Years of Food Safety

Bill Marler is the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America, and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world. Bill’s firm—Marler Clark: The Food Safety Law Firm— ( has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life-altering injuries and even death. Bill began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor...


Ep. 24. Melanie Neumann: Getting Ready for Your FSMA Inspection

Melanie Neumann is the president of Neumann Risk Services (, and executive vice president of Matrix Sciences—a firm that focuses on food safety risk management, business and brand protection, regulatory compliance, and industry best practices. Melanie leverages her 19 years of industry experience as a food law attorney along with her Masters of Science in Food Safety to help clients manage the risks relating to each step in the supply chain, from supplier...


Ep. 23. Food Safety Talk on Food Safety Matters

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...


Ep. 22. Jorge Hernandez: Transportation: The driving force behind food safety

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...


Metagenomics: 16S Challenge

In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we will 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...


Ep. 21. Mike Cramer: Meeting the Challenges of 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...


Ep. 20. Larry Keener: Validation Before Verification

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....


Ep. 19. National Restaurant Association: ServSafe and Beyond

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...