Why Food Safety Experts Care About Our Food
Some people have the kinds of jobs that, if nobody did them, we’d all be in big trouble. But luckily, they’re hard at work so we never have to bother with a worst-case scenario.
Food safety professionals, who ensure the production, delivery and consumption of what we eat is free of harmful bacteria, are exactly such people.
The dairy industry has a long history of working together and adopting technologies, like pasteurization. Thanks to their love of science and food, consumers safely enjoy milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and more.
This September, three food safety professionals took the time to share with us what motivates them in honor of Food Safety Education Month:
“I love what I do in helping and training others either internal or external to Schreiber Foods on fundamental food safety and sanitation-related programs as food safety should not be a competitive advantage to any one dairy company. We are all in this food safety challenge together to protect the dairy consumer.”
—Roger Brown, enterprise sanitation program director at Schreiber Foods, has worked in food safety and sanitation for more than 30 years. He makes sure all of Schreiber Food’s plants know how to get every production line clean before any dairy products are made.
“Every day is a little different — whether I am auditing a facility against regulations, training employees, or engaging at a professional meeting — but every day is dedicated to some facet of dairy food safety.”
—Rebecca Piston, director of food safety for HP Hood, has more than 30 years of experience delivering safe food. She travels across the country to all of HP Hood’s manufacturing plants to maintain and improve their food safety programs.
“The last years of my father’s life, he was battling a rare disease that required a stem cell transplant as a means to combat his disease. His treating physician made a statement, that it was our responsibility as a family to provide my dad meals that would not result in a foodborne illness as his immune system could not fight off an attacking pathogen. (This was the late ’90s when the meat industry, where I was a food safety professional, was experiencing increased findings of Listeria monocytogenes in hot dogs and luncheon meats.) It was a sobering moment in my career as a food safety professional spotlighting my responsibility to do whatever I could do to make our food supply as safe as possible for other individuals such as my dad. Although my dad lost his battle, I have devoted a 35-year career in a very rewarding profession as a food safety professional.”
—Brian Kraus is director of food safety and regulatory compliance for Wells Enterprises, makers of Blue Bunny ice cream. He has 35 years of experience as a food safety professional, with a focus on dairy in the past 10 years.