Podcast Episode 136: Produce Safety, Technology & Traceability – Dr. Bob Whitaker

Dec 18, 2019

Disclosure: This episode is a partnership with the Alliance for Food and Farming and we thank them for their sponsorship and support. 

Produce Safety, Recalls, Traceability, Innovation and Sustainability

I was invited to attend a Produce Safety Media Tour last August in beautiful Monterey, California with the Alliance for Food and Farming. We visited many different fruit/vegetable fields including strawberries, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, celery and artichokes. We learned about produce farming and production, food safety practices, pesticides/fertilizers, crop rotation and soil health, and innovation and traceability.

NOTE: This interview was recorded prior to the E.coli outbreaks associated with romaine lettuce recently announced by the Federal Food and Drug administration.  Therefore Dr. Whitaker’s comments are specific to 2018 outbreaks.

Photos from my Produce Safety Media Tour in Monterey, California

Food safety needs to be guided by the science. Sustainability cannot stand alone, it has to be supported by the science, and it can be reinforced by technologies. The produce industry shares a responsibility for food safety and is on the verge of a technical revolution.”

Dr. Bob Whitaker

Dr. Bob Whitaker

Dr. Bob Whitaker is the Chief Science & Technology Officer for the Produce Marketing Association. He is responsible for food safety, technology, supply chain management and sustainability. Bob has a long history in the produce field! Prior to PMA, Bob spent 16 years in the biotechnology arena with DNA Plant Technology Corporation, and then worked 10 years at NewStar Fresh Foods and its subsidiary, MissionStar Processing in food safety, product development and as Vice President of Process Operations. Bob’s work has been widely published in several disciplines including enzymology, plant tissue culture, microbiology and food safety.


Dr. Bob Whitaker: LinkedIn

Produce Marketing Association: Website | Insights | Food Safety | Consumer Trends | Technology | Sustainability | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

Safe Fruits and Veggies/Alliance for Food and Farming: Website | Blog | Pesticide Residue Calculator | Videos | Research | Safety Standards | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Related Episodes:

Produce and Pesticides in Perspective – Sound Bites Podcast episode #97 with Teresa Thorne

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Partnership with AADE

American Association of Diabetes Educators

Sound Bites is partnering with the American Association of Diabetes Educators! Stay tuned for updates on the podcast, blog and newsletter!

  • Take a stand in diabetes care and get involved in state and national advocacy efforts with AADE’s upgraded Legislative Action Center. Discover what bills impact your area, take action on key issues and find contact information for your elected officials. For more on AADE’s advocacy efforts, visit DiabetesEducator.org/Advocacy.
  • Share your research with thousands of other diabetes care and education specialists! There’s still time to submit an abstract for a research session or education and research poster at the 2020 AADE Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA from Friday, August 14 – Monday, August 17. Learn more at AADEmeeting.org.

Music by Dave Birk

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