Food Safety Culture Professional Development Group

Mission Statement: To provide an international forum to advance food safety culture science and best practices

Meeting Information

IAFP 2024

July 14, 2024

How to Join

Involvement in committees and professional development groups (PDGs) offers Members the opportunity to share a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Members of committees and PDGs are the architects of the Association structure. They plan, develop and institute many of the Association's projects, including workshops, publications and educational sessions. Technical challenges facing the food safety industry are discussed, examined and debated. Members may volunteer to serve on any number of committees or PDGs that plan and implement activities to meet the Association's mission.

Membership on a PDG is voluntary (not by appointment) and may vary from year to year.

IAFP Members can manage their PDG involvement by logging in to the IAFP Web site. At the Member Dashboard, click “Edit Profile.” Your profile has two tabs: Contact Info and Professional Info. Select the Professional Info tab and update the PDGs you would like to participate in. We highly recommend that you contact the PDG chairperson for each group to let them know you have joined their PDG.

Non-members can contact Dina Siedenburg,, for more information.

Board Responses

2023 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. Recommend the approval of Tia Glave to Vice Chair of the PDG.

    Board Response: Approved.

2022 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. We respectfully submit a recommendation to the Board to schedule our Food Safety Culture PDG meeting so it does not overlap with Food Safety Education and Developing Food Safety Professionals. We had considerable feedback on the meeting schedule challenges and experienced a large portion of our members exiting our meeting so they could join a portion of the other meetings.

    Board Response: This will be taken into consideration when scheduling PDG meetings at IAFP 2023.

  2. Additionally, we had several PDG members that joined us but were not scanned during the transition from the prior PDG. This potentially makes it difficult to share our meeting outcomes with the interested members. Perhaps we can have a scanning attendance system (phone app) executed by the student liaison?

    Board Response: For IAFP 2023, student members will scan badges for attendance records. In 2022, temporary help was hired, but only 60% showed up to work!

2021 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. 1. Recommend approval of Melody Ge as Vice Chair of the Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Board Response: Agree.

2020 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. None
2019 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. Approve Laura Nelson as Vice Chair.

    Board Response: Agree.

2018 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. Recommend Food Safety Culture PDG and HACCP PDG not share a time slot as Members were going back and forth between the two.

    Board Response: Agree. Can schedule at different times.

  2. Better technology for sharing information and BDPs – emails are cumbersome and get lost, the website does not allow engagement, and communicating across time zones is very difficult using only email and calls during limited hours.

    Board Response: Agree. The Board and staff are looking at ways to engage Members through communication.

  3. Technology updates for conference calls as it is difficult to hear and know who is speaking.

    Board Response: Additional details are needed to know how to address this recommendation.

2017 Board Response to Recommendations
  1. Approve permanent formation of Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Board Response: Agree.

  2. Approve Megan Kenjora (Guilford) as Chair.

    Board Response: Agree.

  3. Approve Megan Kenjora (Guilford) as Chair.

    Board Response: Agree.

  4. Approve Megan Kenjora (Guilford) as Chair.

    Board Response: Agree.


  • Food Safety Culture PDG: Measure What You Treasure – The power of qualitative culture assessments.

    Organized by: Food Safety Culture PDG

    John Boyce: Using Frontline Focus Groups, Management Interviews, Document Review, and In-plant Observations to Measure and Improve Food Safety Culture in Food Manufacturing Environments.

    Paola Lopez: Conscious Leadership: Why Qualitative Approaches are Important.

    Sophie Tongyu Wu: Helping Middle Managers Make Sense of and Give Meaning to Food Safety Changes: A Qualitative Systematic Literature Review.

    Moderator, Melody Ge, Food Safety Culture PDG Chair

    Download Slides

  • Food Safety Culture PDG: Food Safety Culture – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

    Organized by: Food Safety Culture PDG

    It has been over 30 years since the awareness of food safety was raised officially. Throughout the journey, we have made many achievements such as the regulatory awareness of E. Coli, Listeria spp. and Salmonella contaminations; implementation of FSMA and many others. In 2020, Food Safety Culture was mandated by GFSI; at the same year, Smarter Food Safety Era was launched by FDA. Certainly, we have come a long way on this journey. How did we do compare to 30 years ago? What can we do to continue driving the food safety culture? Technology is evolving, environment is changing, what will we stand and focus regarding food safety? Culture is a collaboration, it takes a joint effort among government, auditors, agencies, labs, logistics, manufacturers and many others who are in the food industry or provide services to the food industry. In this webinar, we have invited an expert, Jorge Hernandez, who has worked in different cultures, stakeholders during different period of times. Let’s have a discussion together on the past, present and future of food safety culture!

    Jorge Hernandez is the Vice President of Quality Assurance for the Wendy’s Company. As such, he is responsible for the design, implementation and leadership of the Food Safety, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance Programs that impact suppliers, distribution centers and 7250 restaurants in 33 Countries.

    • Jorge Hernandez, Presenter Wendy's
    • Melody Ge, Moderator Starkist
  • Food Safety Culture PDG: Improving Food Safety Culture Through Soft Skills & Communication

    Organized by: Food Safety Culture PDG

    Explore how prioritizing soft skills and strengthening communication can help improve your food safety culture.

    • Austin Welch, Presenter Co-Owner, Sage Media
    • Jill Stuber, Presenter Co-Founder, Catalyst LLC
    • Nikita Jackson, Presenter Food Safety & Technical Services Manager
    • Tia Glave, Moderator Co-Founder, Catalyst LLC
  • Building a Culture – The Tools and Tips You Need to Succeed

    Organized by: IAFP's Food Safety Culture PDG

    Are you looking for direction on food safety culture?

    Where do you start on ensuring you have the knowledge and tools to build a strong culture within your organization, that prioritizes food safety? There is good news – the tools are freely available, and there are a lot of resources to help you! Our panel has come together to give you a heads-up on what culture is, and what it isn’t, where the tools are, and some simple tips to get you started.

    Join the experts for a lively discussion and be ready to pitch in with questions! Your views will help us shape up and give you the best advice.

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    • Lone Jespersen, Panelist Principal, Cultivate SA
    • Dan Fone, Panelist Group Director – US Operations Food Safety
    • Tia Glave, Panelist Co-Founder, Food Safety Catalyst
    • Alison Cousins, Panelist Global Food Training Director, BSI
    • Melody Ge, Moderator Food Safety & Quality Assurance Director, StarKist
  • Achieving Best-In-Class Food Safety Culture Through Evolution

    Organized by: Food Safety Culture PDG

    For many of our organizations, food safety culture continues to evolve through shared best practices, adoption of new technologies, enhanced employee training programs and leadership focus. The challenge many of us face is the limited opportunity to learn from those proven organizations that are leaders in demonstrating advanced food safety cultures. What are those food safety strategies other companies are deploying that effectively improve their food safety culture? One organization that has become a leader in food safety culture is Chipotle. Chipotle has developed and implemented progressive strategies for food safety over the last several years with measurable successes as best-in-class food safety culture.

    Kerry Bridges, Vice President of Food Safety for Chipotle will share cutting-edge food safety protocols they have implemented in the areas of supply chain risk management, product technology, ingredient traceability, technical resourcing, 3rd party audits, and supplier and employee training strategies to mitigate food safety risks in their operations. Kerry will share the importance of the shared responsibility of food safety throughout their organization and the importance of involving diverse stakeholders to support their food safety programs. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn proven food safety culture approaches from one of the leaders in our industry!

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    • Kerry Bridges, Presenter Vice President of Food Safety, Chipotle Mexican Grill
    • Laura Dunn Nelson, Moderator Vice President Food Safety and Global Alliances, Intertek Alchemy
  • Does Your Food Safety Culture Bridge the Multi-Cultural Challenges?

    Organized by: Food Safety Culture PDG

    While food safety culture may be defined by the values, beliefs, and policies of a business, success is determined by the applied behaviors of its people. How does a global food manufacturing or retail business bridge its peoples’ multi-cultural and diverse beliefs and behaviors to continue to grow an equitable and inclusive food safety culture within its facilities, across internationally located sites, and throughout its supply chains?

    To address these challenges, while continuing to successfully grow a cohesive food safety culture across regional and international sites, the expert panel will discuss best practices in diversity, equity, empowerment, and inclusion. Participants will gain insights on tools focusing on education, communication, and assessment of their food safety culture progress as well as practical examples of applied best practices.

    Through practical, real-life examples from the panel experts in the supply, manufacturing, and retail, participants will learn:

    -How to gain buy-in from and engage top-level management in the food safety culture journey
    -How to build employee commitment and retention from day one of hire
    -What tools can help in the implementation of a global, multi-cultural, multi-functional approach to food safety culture

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    • Austin Welch, Presenter Sage Media
    • Hugo Gutierrez, Presenter Kerry
    • Rolando Gonzalez, Presenter The Acheson Group (TAG)
    • Megan Kenjora, Presenter The Hershey Company
    • Dr. Liliana Casal-Wardle, Moderator The Acheson Group (TAG)
  • Choose Your Adventure:  Which Decision should the FSQ Leader Make?  

    Every organization has a culture, and it’s well known that day-to-day behaviors, attitudes, and actions define and drive this organizational culture, which provides the framework for food safety culture.   

    In this webinar, we’ll explore a day-in-the-life of a Food Safety & Quality Leader to look at how different factors such as digital tools, leadership support, psychological safety, and strategic plans impact food safety culture.  The session is designed to be interactive as participants will direct the outcome of the events by choosing which path the FSQ Leader takes during pivotal moments throughout the day, inviting us to explore how these factors impact those decisions and outcomes.  Along the way, we’ll consider how these decisions reflect upon the food safety culture of the organization.  

    Learning Objectives

    The objectives of the session are to explore how decisions around food safety management are impacted by attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to food safety that affect.

    1. Individual FSQ team members work and well-being

    2. The overarching messages around food safety conveyed to the team members within the organization

    3. The outcome of food safety situations in organizations.

    Participants will walk away with practical hands-on approaches both from a technical and cultural standpoint to support their FSQ Team in driving food safety management practices around food safety culture and protecting consumers. 

    Download Slides

    • Tia Glave, Presenter Food Safety Catalyst
    • Jill Stuber, Presenter Food Safety Catalyst
    • Stephanie Weinand, Presenter Recall InfoLink
    • Melody Ge, Moderator Starkist, Co.
  • Food Safety Culture - Part 6 of 7: Dynamic Leadership by Supervisors = Strong Organizational Cultures

    This is the sixth in a seven-part series organized by the Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Spending the time in leadership development of your supervisors and management team translates to a stronger culture and proven return in that investment to your organization. Against the current backdrop of the current COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever leaders and emerging leaders must tap into skills of adaptability, managing vs. leading, building and maintaining trust, and increased engagement to successfully navigate these new challenges. Hear directly from industry leaders sharing their approaches to investing in their leaders to affect positive cultural change and bring added value to their organization.

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    • Kent Summers Daily's Premium Meats, USA
    • Laura Nelson Alchemy Systems, USA
    • Lone Jespersen, Moderator Cultivate, Switzerland
  • Food Safety Culture - Part 5 of 7: Evolving the Retailer Stand on Food Safety Audits; Culture and Behavioral Assessments

    This is the fifth in a seven-part series organized by the Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Learn how leading retailers are incorporating culture and behavioral assessments into their food safety audit.

    Download Slides

    • Andrew Clarke Loblaws, Canada
    • Ray Bowe Musgrave, Ireland
    • Dan Fone Walmart, USA
    • Lone Jespersen, Moderator Cultivate, Switzerland
  • Food Safety Culture - Part 4 of 7: SQF and Culture Improvements - Hear Practical Learnings From Two Companies

    This is the fourth in a seven-part series organized by the Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Food safety culture has been a way of life for some and a new approach for others. Learn from established companies on how they started on their journey and how they continue to keep promoting food safety culture in their organizations. 

    Download Slides

    • LeAnne Chuboff SQFI, USA
    • Michelle E. Anselment Night Hawk Frozen Foods, Inc., USA
    • Brian Perry Treehouse Foods, Inc., USA
    • Lone Jespersen, Moderator Cultivate, Switzerland
  • Food Safety Culture - Part 3 of 6: Latest Food Safety Culture Research From Four Doctoral Researchers

    This is the third in a six part series organized by the Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Get four practical insights from four passionate researchers in the field of food safety culture. From the role of regulators, application of GFSI dimensions, impact of communication, to assessments in SMEs and processing facilities.

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    • Lone Jespersen, Moderator Cultivate, Switzerland
    • Sophie Tongyu Wu, Presenter Purdue University, USA
    • Emma Samuel, Presenter Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
    • Rounaq Nayak, Presenter Harper Adams University, United Kingdom
    • Shingai Nyarugwe, Presenter Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands
  • Food Safety Culture – Part 2 of 6: Food Safety Culture & Communication - It’s about People

    This is the second in a series of six webinars organized by the Food Safety Culture PDG:

    In 2019, FDA established priority areas of focus for internal working groups and stakeholders and they are 1) Tech Enabled Traceability and Foodborne Outbreak Response 2) Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention, 3) Adapting to New Business Models and Retail Food Safety Modernization and 4) Food Safety Culture. In spite of the release of GFSI’s position paper on Food Safety Culture, several food industry professionals are at a loss in terms of where to start. Those of us in quality and food safety often believe that food safety is our sole responsibility. But is it only our responsibility? Are we being too exclusive and not allowing open conversation with our peers in sanitation, HR, operations, marketing or business leaders? Perhaps we are not sure how best to communicate the importance of package integrity in preventing recontamination, or swabbing to seek the source of the problem as a topic of interest to our peers. How can we engage others, and have an influence on employees and companies to commit to food safety? We are very interested to help the audience walk away with a toolkit that they can use to connect with various stakeholders in their organization.

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    • Akhila Vasan, Moderator Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois, USA
    • Neil Coole, Presenter BSI Group, Virginia, USA
    • Lone Jespersen, Presenter Cultivate, Switzerland
    • Linda Smith, Presenter SmithCom, Ontario, Canada
  • Food Safety Culture - Part 1 of 6: How to get Buy-In, Develop Metrics, and Properly Implement

    Sponsored by: the IAFP Foundation
    Organized by: the Food Safety Culture PDG

    This the first in a series of six webinars organized by the Food Safety Culture PDG.

    Building a culture of food safety is important, but how do you do it? In this webinar, attendees will go through a three-part process corresponding to essential, practical measures for developing a culture of food safety: leveraging leadership support, identifying learning needs and corresponding metrics, and strategic roll-out of effective programs.

    Download Slides

    • Lone Jespersen, Moderator Cultivate, Switzerland
    • Austin Welch, Presenter Sage Media, Colorado, USA
    • Neil Coole, Presenter BSI, Virginia, USA
    • Richard Fleming, Presenter  Sage Media, Colorado, USA
    • Megan Kenjora, Presenter The Hershey Company, Pennsylvania, USA