Industry News | April 16, 2010

FDA Leader Stresses Food Safety Across Industries

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FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor will speak in Las Vegas, before the General Session of United Fresh 2010, the annual convention and expo of the United Fresh Produce Association.

Taylor also addressed restaurant executives at the National Restaurant Association's Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., today, stressing the importance of food safety and ServSafe certification in quick-serves.

Taylor’s upcoming Wednesday, April 21 address, "The Future of Food Safety Legislation and Produce Regulation," will give produce leaders the opportunity to hear the latest information on a subject that has been at the forefront of the industry’s consciousness for many years.

“Deputy Commissioner Taylor’s address is an opportunity not to be missed,” says Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president of food safety and technology.

“So often we hear opinion on food safety from consumer and trade groups, media outlets and innumerable other sources, but Taylor will provide members of the industry gathered for United Fresh 2010 the chance to gather information directly from the FDA’s lead food official and one of the highest food safety authorities in the federal government.”

Taylor’s food safety resume is long and distinguished, starting his FDA career in 1976 as a litigating attorney. He then served as FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy from 1991 to 1994, overseeing FDA's policy development and rulemaking, including the implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act and issuance of new seafood safety rules.

From 1994 to 1996, he served at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety. During that time, he spearheaded public health-oriented reform of the FSIS. From 2000 until his appointment as Deputy Commissioner for Foods in July 2009, Taylor has worked in academic and research settings on the challenges facing the nation’s food safety system and ways to address them.

“Given the paramount importance of food safety within the produce business, it is imperative for companies to recognize and embrace the value of the information that Deputy Commissioner Taylor is sharing next week,” Gombas says.

Deputy Commissioner Taylor’s insights into food safety legislation, regulation, and the steps that the produce industry can take advance food safety with federal oversight is a key part of United Fresh 2010’s theme of "Winning is Everything."

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