NSF International Honors United Fresh’s Dr. Jennifer McEntire at 2020 Food Safety Summit
WASHINGTON, DC - Hearing that one of our own produce industry members is being honored brings a smile to the faces of all of those at the AndNowUKnow office (or home offices, for now). The latest source of joy comes as NSF International has announced that United Fresh Produce Association’s Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology, has been awarded with this year’s Food Safety Leadership Award. At a time when food safety reigns supreme, this is no small feat.
“United Fresh has always been the industry resource for all things produce safety and the Produce Safety Immersion Program is yet another great tool for the industry,” said Dr. McEntire. “Nothing has given me more personal and professional satisfaction than watching Class One of the program grow their skills by learning from experts, and each other.”
NSF International’s Food Safety Leadership Award recognizes individuals and organizations their real and lasting contributions to food safety. All nominations are evaluated by the Food Safety Summit Educational Advisory Board before a winner is then selected by NSF International.
Dr. McEntire is receiving the award for her dedication to educating the next generation of leaders on all things food safety across the fresh produce world. According to a press release, after noticing gaps in food safety education of aspiring produce professionals, Dr. McEntire helped launch United Fresh’s Produce Safety Immersion Program in 2019. The year-long program offers 15 people the opportunity to build critical industry skills and leadership qualities in regards to food safety as they embark on their careers.
“The importance of produce safety, coupled with emerging science and technology and changes in the regulatory and legal environment, have created a real need for ongoing professional development,” said Cheryl Enlow, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Renaissance Food Group, and Chair of the United Fresh Food Safety and Technology Council. “Given the various paths my peers and I have taken to become produce safety professionals, I’m confident the Produce Safety Immersion program will help ensure a well-trained workforce is following in our footsteps.”
Beginning her Washington, DC-based career in 2001, Dr. McEntire started at the National Food Processors Association and also worked as a visiting scientist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She then joined the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) where she was honored with the the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Director’s Special Citation Award for her food defense work in the Food and Ag Sector.
Throughout her career, she has also partnered with educational institutions to promote the field of food science, including a partnership with Discovery Education where she was recognized with a Gold Award by the Society for National Association Publications for her support of food science education.
Dr. McEntire is considered an international expert in food traceability due to her outstanding expertise in the field, including work leading traceability pilots under the FDA and many other recognized entities. She joined United Fresh in 2016 where she leads the association’s food safety activities.
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer McEntire on her award and continued dedication to furthering the field of food safety and science.