The AFDO Audio Podcast

By AFDO Association of Food and Drug Officials

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This podcast features individuals with unique perspectives in food and medical products safety including regulatory affairs. To few the video versions of our podcast please go to

Episode Date
Partnership Provides Resources for Small and Medium Food Manufacturers

Partnership Provides Resources for Small and Medium Food Manufacturers

Created in 1988, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s purpose is to provide small and medium sized manufacturers with the help needed to succeed by improving productivity, economic competitiveness and technological capabilities. In this AFDO podcast, we visit with Craig Doan, Chief Food Scientist with Impact Washington and part of the MEP network. Doan shares how the network works and who can benefit from it. For more information, visit .

MEP is a results-based national network of locally-operated and staffed non-profit, university-based, and state-based organizations leveraging federal, state and local, and private resources. The food industry is ubiquitous across the country and while the concentration of the food industry varies by states, all MEP centers have food industry clients. This partnership among the federal government, state and local governments, and the private sector provides hands-on assistance and services to U.S. manufacturers through manufacturing extension offices in every state across the country and in Puerto Rico. The nationwide network of MEP Centers operating approximately 400 service locations are managed at the federal level by DOC NIST. The NIST MEP National Network, over any given year, typically works with over 25,000 manufacturers across the United States, serving as trusted advisors, focused on solving manufacturers' process and product challenges and identifying opportunities for growth.

Mar 09, 2020
Know Exactly What You Will Invest in Environmental Sampling

Are you required to perform environmental monitoring under the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Preventive Controls for Human Food rule? What kind of dollars do you need to budget? Charlie and Michael Kalish have developed a cost estimating tool and we talked with the brothers about it. You can read more  after the podcast at

Feb 21, 2020
Author Deborah Blum Shares Insight Into "The Poison Squad"

PBS's The American Experience: The Poison Squad premiere is based on the book by the same name by Deborah Blum. Those of you who attended the 2019 Annual Education Conference had the treat of hearing about Blum's journey of discovery into beginnings of food safety. We sat down with Blum right after her engaging presentation and talked about Harvey Wiley and how his story impacts what AFDO members do every day in 2020. This week's podcast features Blum's view on evidence-based food safety policy as well as how the Poison Squad's place in history can inform work with cannabis. 

Jan 27, 2020
Update on the Era of Smarter Food Safety Efforts with Frank Yiannas

During the Foodborne Illness Reduction through Healthy People 2030 Summit, Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response with the FDA shared current foodborne illness intervention strategies as well as progress on the Era of Smarter Food Safety that Yiannas rolled out as an initiative in 2019.
We sat down with the Deputy Commissioner Yiannas for an update on the Era of Smarter Food Safety as well as the romaine recall.

Jan 21, 2020
Food Safety At Large Scale Events

Whether you have struck gold with a Super Bowl ticket or are attending your local concert with a few thousands of your friends, large scale events can be successfully managed for food safety.  Check out this article in the January 2020 issue of Food Safety Magazine that features the behind-the-scene planning that goes nto the large events.

This podcast is with with one of the panelists in this article, Venessa Sims, MEP, GA-CEM, director of emergency management, Georgia Department of Agriculture. Sims presented about the her team's work on SuperBowl Food Safety at the AFDO Conference in 2019.  Georgia has practiced its response to large events to help keep the public safe. 

Jan 06, 2020
Key to Working With Legislators is Attention!

Legislators both national and state are packing up their bags and heading home. A new session of most starts in January. In this AFDO podcast, we look at ways to make your work with legislators more effective in 2020. We sat down with Doug Farquhar, Program Director for Environmental Health for the National Conference of State Legislatures, as he shared tips for helping state representatives as knowledgeable as they can be when they address issues that impact AFDO members. 

Dec 24, 2019
As State Legislatures Wind Down Looking at the Year Preps for the Future

The pace of legislative activity involving all facets of food and device safety at the state level has increased. We sat down with Doug Farquhar, Program Director for Environmental Health for the National Conference of State Legislatures, and discussed what has happened in 2019 and what state regulators should be looking at for the future. 

Nov 25, 2019
How Yum! Brands Piloted Social Media Use to Aid with Illness Outbreak Prediction

Dan Tew, Sr. Manager Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs for the Yum! Brands, shares an exciting pilot Yum! Brands has used to help locations stay ahead of illness outbreaks that could impact employee attendance as well as the spread of the illnesses.

Nov 18, 2019
Using Data in Support of Improved Food Safety at Retail

Laura Brown, Safe Food Section Team Lead for the CDC, discusses how CDC data shows what the food safety issues have improved and what still needs to be done. Brown discusses how data can bring focus to outreach for the most impact. 

Nov 11, 2019
The Rapid Road to Cannabis and Hemp Legislation at the State Level

There has been increased legislative activity at the state level on both cannabis and hemp. We sat down witjh Doug Farquhar,  Program Director for Environmental Health for the National Conference of State Legislatures and discussed how legislation is being developed and often passed across the country. Farquhar also shares ideas for working with representatives who make these key decisions. 

Nov 04, 2019
Kansas Professional Shares Food Safety Successes and His Musical Approach

We enjoyed visiting with AFDO members around the country during September's Food Safety Education Month so much, we kept on going.This week's podcast is with Adam Inman, Assistant Program Manager, Food Safety and Lodging, Kansas Department of Agriculture. He shares his team's successes with crossing the language barrier in food service, making a point of sharing with colleagues beyond Kansas, and sharing the Kansas approach as often as possible.  Inman, pictured above with his guitar, also shared an approach he is about launch that marries music and food safety education.

Oct 28, 2019
AFDO Training Programs Enhances Effectiveness and Accessibility

These are not your mother's training programs. Learning with AFDO is better than ever. AFDO's Randy Young shares how innovation continues to improve training that serves the more than 40,000 regulators nationwide. Randy is AFDO's Instructional Designer. He has be instrumental in continuing the improvements in ADFO's training partnerships. Randy shares what members should know about AFDO training and its future.

Oct 11, 2019
Got Task Force?

We recently sat down with Iowa's Jennifer Pierquet (now a member of the AFDO staff) and Jennifer Bonsky, MFRPS Coordinator and RRT Specialist Food and Dairy Division for the state of Michigan, to talk about the value of task forces.  They share their tips for making them most effective before you need them as well the value of getting everyone on board. 

Oct 09, 2019
Innovative Thinking (even a robot of sorts) Extends Food Safety Reach in Washington State

We are wrapping up National Food Safety Education Month with a conversation with Randy Treadwell from Washington State Department of Agriculture.  Randy is the Program Manager for the Rapid Response & Emergency Management.  He shares how integration and technology support the work he does meeting consumers where they are and the success of the RRT in Washington state. 

Sep 29, 2019
Produce Safety Begins On The Farm

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Many AFDO members are educating consumers to be their own food safety superheroes.  At AFDO, we continue our series of discussions about food safety innovation with Valerie Gamble, Produce Safety Program Manager in the Food and Feed Safety Division at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Her team's work has built a  program that has given a voice to the produce producers in Minnesota while shaping a paradiagm where responsiveness is key.


Sep 20, 2019
Food Safety is Job One at McDonald's

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Many AFDO members are educating consumers to be their own food safety superheroes.  At AFDO, we continue our series of discussions about food safety innovation with Dionne Crawford, Manager of U.S. Food Safety for McDonald's Corporation. Check out our AFDO food safety superheroes podcasts here. Learn more about McDonald's commitment to food safety.

Sep 15, 2019
Food Safety is a Team Job for Georgia Professional
September is National Food Safety Education Month. Many AFDO members are educating consumers to be their own food safety superheroes.  At AFDO, we will be talking with some of you who are doing exceptional and innovative work in food safety. This week's podcast guest is Natalie Adan, Food Safety Division Director for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Sep 06, 2019
It's Hurricane Season -- Lessons for Regulators No Matter Where They Live Part Two

In October 2019, Hurricane Michael created more than the usual hurricane aftermath and food instability issues in Florida. At the 2019 AFDO annual conference, panelists looked at the human side of the devastation that resulted in a long-term recovery that continues today.

We sat down with Michael Roberson, Director of Corporate Quality Assurance with Publix Super Markets, to discuss the retail side of recovery months later.  He shares more about the human-side of this disaster as well as the lessons learned about relationships before you need them in the midst of a disaster in a podcast.

Aug 27, 2019
Hurricanes Have Lessons for Regulators No Matter Where They Live

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael created more than the usual hurricane aftermath and food instability issues in Florida. At this year's AFDO annual conference, panelists looked at the human side of the devastation that resulted in a long-term recovery that continues today.
We sat down with Tracy Johnstone, a Mcdonald's owner/operator who herself is on the road to recovery. She shares the human-side of this disaster in this podcast.

Aug 20, 2019
Smarter Food Safety with FDA's Frank Yiannas

During the 2019 AFDO Educational Conference, we sat down with Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the FDA. He shared more about the March 2019 reorganization that resulted in the formation of the new office he leads. Yiannas said the new office’s focus would continue to be on FSMA and its implementation; collaborating with stakeholders on food safety response; and a new era of “smarter food safety.”  Yiannas outlined plans for harnessing technology to support the accelerated change in the food system and the consumer’s demand for those changes.

Aug 01, 2019
New Repacking Guidance Document

As more volunteers hope to lend a hand in fighting food insecurity in the U.S., the need
for a guide for food repacking events has been met through a collaboration of some of the
organizations most impacted. Published by the Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO), the Bulk Repacking of Non-Ready-to-Eat Dry Product for Charitable Distribution guide is now
available to provide a simplified set of standard operating practices designed to provide safe
packing conditions. This will ensure that non-ready-to-eat dry products may continue to be
packaged by volunteers and non-profit organizations for distribution within the U.S. This guide is available at and through the AFDO smartphone app, which is free
through Apple and Google Play app stores.

Jul 31, 2019
2019-20 Priorities for Your AFDO with President Ernie Julian

AFDO President Ernest Julian shares his vision and priorities for the year with food borne illness topping the list.

Jul 21, 2019
Making a Case for Attending the AFDO Education Conference
Apr 19, 2019
Got recognition? Give some with AFDO Awards opportunities due April 1.

Krystal Reed, AFDO Association Manager, explains the ease and value of recognizing people through a series of awards given out at the upcoming AFDO annual education conference. Nominations are due April 1.

Mar 22, 2019
AFDO Conference Preview -- Don't miss out on this program.
Feb 23, 2019
AFDO Annual Conference -- What is in it for YOU!
Feb 23, 2019
Conversion with Joe Corby regarding the formation of Partners with a Common Purpose

Joe Corby, former AFDO executive director, shares the story of Partners with a Common Purpose, an initiative for creating change through a shared vision with food and medical products industry representatives. This shared vision recognizes a common purpose embraced and supported by government regulators and industry in improving public health and consumer services.

Jan 14, 2019
Conversation with Dawn Beck, Associate Director for Public Health, Olmsted County MN regarding risk-based approach to food inspections.

Dawn Beck, Associate Director for Public Health, Olmsted County, Rochester, MN shares their success with risk-based approach to food inspections. The method called PTV, uses policy, training and verification as the benchmarks for holding food operators accountable for keep food safe.

Jan 02, 2019
Conversion with Katie Lott, Program Manager, Tacoma County, Washington on the expansion of risk factor assessments

Katie Lott, Program Manager for Food and Community Safety for the Tacoma, Washington County Health Department, discusses how the expansion of their reach for risk factor assessment has been successful. They have used technology to augment the use of translated materials and visual communication when dealing with language barriers as well as reaching areas of their primarily rural state with information.

Jan 02, 2019
Conversation with Marla Phillips from Xavier Health Discussing Artificial Intelligence

Marla Phillips the Director of Xavier Health discusses the work Xavier has been coordinating on artificial intelligence (AI) in the medical products arena, both drugs and devices.  Marla brings her tremendous industry experience forward to health bring industry and regulatory patterns together to collaborate in new areas such as AI.


Xavier Health sponsors several conferences and seminars annually in the medical products area.  For more information go to:


Come to AFDO 2019 Educational Conference where Marla will be coordinating a new quality initiative being spearheaded by Xavier Health.

Oct 31, 2018
Conversations with Joe Corby and Steven Mandernach about AFDO Leadership Transition

After years of leading the transformation of the Association of Food and Drug Officials to a key force in food and medical products regulation, Joe Corby is stepping down as executive director of AFDO. Stepping into the position is Steven Mandernach, currently Bureau Chief for Food and Consumer Safety at the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. These changes are effective October 8, 2018.  During this episode Corby and Mandernach discuss AFDO.

Oct 09, 2018
Special Edition: A Conversation with Summer Williams with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services about Hurricane Response

For additional resources related to hurricanes please go to the following website:


Oct 01, 2018
A Conversation with Mitzi Baum with Feeding America

The Food Salvage Guide is available on the the AFDO Mobile app via the Google Play Store or IOS App Store, just search for AFDO.


Further, it can also be downloaded from the AFDO website


To learn more about Feeding America go to:

Sep 17, 2018
Conversation with Jennifer Pierquet on the AFDO Food Emergency Response Guide

The Food Emergency Response Guide is available on the AFDO Mobile app via the Google Play Store or IOS App Store, just search for AFDO.


Further, it can also be downloaded from the AFDO website:


Further, hard copies can be purchased at also.


Sep 17, 2018