Food Engineering

GMA Conference highlights food safety

October 12, 2010
The conference is co-located with PACK EXPO 2010.


 (Left to right): Robert R. Brackett, Matilda Freund and Joseph Levitt. Source: GMA.
Food processors are facing more FDA oversight as the 2009 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is taking hold. No doubt, FDA scrutiny of food processing plants will increase, especially after contaminated foods still enter the market. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) will deliver a special panel to help bring processors up to speed on regulatory affairs at the GMA Manufacturing Excellence Conference, which is co-located with PACK EXPO on November 1 and 2 at
McCormick Place
in Chicago.

A stakeholder panel composed of regulatory and food, beverage and consumer products manufacturing professionals will address some of the act’s key components including facility hazard evaluation & preventive controls, food facility re-inspection and allocation of inspection resources based on risk profiles of food facilities.

Panelists include:

  • Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., director and vice president of the NationalCenter for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)-Brackett is responsible for management of the center. He served as senior vice president and chief science and regulatory officer for GMA. Brackett has nearly 30 years of experience in scientific research in industry, government and academia. Prior to his position at GMA, he worked at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA CFSAN), where he started as a senior microbiologist in the Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages.
  • Dr. Matilda Freund, senior director food safety, Kraft Foods-Freund leads the worldwide Food Safety team at Kraft Foods. She is an expert in global food safety including HACCP design and development on an international level. Freund’s team has responsibility for the development and implementation of global strategies and policies in the areas of food safety, toxicology, thermal processing and microbiology. In addition, her team is a key partner in the product development process to ensure appropriate design and stability from the product, process and distribution perspective. Over her 20-year career at Kraft, Freund has held various positions including product development, sanitation, quality and production management.
  • Joseph Levitt, partner, Hogan Lovells-Levitt is a 25-year veteran of FDA. He focuses on the development and implementation of legislative and regulatory policy regarding the manufacture and marketing of food, drugs and medical devices and how to work effectively with the FDA and related agencies. Levitt also brings in-depth knowledge to a wide range of matters, including food and drug safety, biotechnology, labeling, advertising and bioterrorism. From February 1998 through December 2003, he served as director of FDA’s CFSAN, where he led successful efforts to modernize food safety regulation and enhance the security of the US food supply.
  • Brent Brehmer, corporate manager regulatory compliance and HACCP, Hormel.
For more information about all the sessions at the GMA Manufacturing Excellence Conference, visit GMA’s PACK EXPO website.