The effects of a new world of Food & Drug Administration food safety oversight will be the focus of a panel discussion at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Manufacturing Excellence Conference, co-located with Pack Expo on Nov. 1-2 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

How do consumer products companies manage their expectations of the impending impact of the 2009 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, specifically at plant level? A 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 and 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 National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).Bob is responsible for management of the center and for continuing to improve its stature as a national and international leader in the field. Brackett most recently served as senior vice president and chief science and regulatory officer for the GMA, a position he has held since 2007. 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where he started as a senior microbiologist in the Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages.

Matilda Freund, senior director food safety, Kraft Foods. Matilda 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, they are key partners 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.Joe is a 25-year veteran of the 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. Joe also brings in-depth knowledge to a wide range of matters, including food and drug safety, biotechnology, labeling, advertising and bioterrorism. For six years, from February 1998 through December 2003, Joe served as Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where he led successful efforts to modernize food safety regulation and enhance the security of the U.S. 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: