STOP Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens.


Stop Foodborne Illness to Posthumously Honor David M. Theno, Jr.’s Contributions to Food Safety with the Dave Theno Food Safety Hero Award

Tags: David Theno Dave Theno Stop Foodborne Illness Dave Theno Food Safety Hero Award Dave Theno Fellowship Michael Taylor Deirdre Schlunegger food safety International Association of Food Protection IAFP

Press Release | Wed July 05, 2017, 03:54 PM EST


  • David M. Theno, Jr.

    David M. Theno, Jr.

Stop Foodborne Illness will present its first annual Dave Theno Food Safety Hero Award on July 9 at this year’s International Association of Food Protection (IAPF) conference taking place July 9-12 in Tampa Bay, Florida. This prestigious award recognizes the numerous contributions Dave Theno has made to the food safety field. For 40 years, Theno worked to advance collaboration between the scientific community and the meat industry to solve food-safety issues and in so doing, left an indelible mark on the food safety landscape.          

Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness, and Michael Taylor, Stop Foodborne Illness board member, will present the award at the Cheese and Wine Reception, which will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 9 in the Exhibit Hall of the Tampa Convention Center. Stop Foodborne Illness originally intended to present Dave with this award at their annual December event honoring Food Safety Heroes, but his recent and tragic death on June 19, 2017 encouraged the organization to instead present his award at this year’s IAPF conference.  The Theno family will receive the award on his behalf. All participants are invited to attend. To sign up for the conference, please visit https://www.foodprotection.org/annualmeeting/.

Additionally, Schlunegger and Taylor will announce the Dave Theno Fellowship, an annual fellowship award in memory of Dave’s work and his vision for advancement in food safety. The award will go to a new graduate from a food safety program or a public policy program. Stop Foodborne Illness has secured over $25,000 in donations for the program. To make a donation to the Dave Theno Fellowship, please visit his legacy page at http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/davidtheno/Subpage.aspx?mod=4.

 

About Dave Theno, Jr.

A lifelong animal lover and adventurous nature enthusiast, Dave’s goal was always to make animals, food and people safe. After graduating from West Aurora High School in Aurora, Illinois in 1968, Dave enrolled at Iowa State University where he earned his B.S. degree in zoology and science journalism before deciding to further his animal science knowledge at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in animal science by 1975. While at UIUC, Dave held assistantships in the Departments of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, wrote for meat publications and was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honor Society.

After graduation, his passion for animal science and food safety continued to grow along with his reputation. Dave managed food safety and quality programs at Peter Eckrich & Sons, Inc., Armour Food Company, Kellogg’s and Foster Farms where he installed the first Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program, which Pillsbury developed in the 1960s to ensure sterile food for NASA’s astronauts. In 1989, Dave was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

To continue encouraging food companies to follow the rules and make food safe for customers, Dave launched his own consulting firm, Theno & Associates, Inc. Soon after in 1993, an E. coli outbreak erupted at Jack in the Box restaurants, killing four and injuring hundreds in California and the Pacific Northwest. Dave was immediately recruited to investigate what happened and figure out what could be done to stop it from ever happening again. His strategy, transparency and commitment to food safety not only changed the company, but it helped restructure the entire food industry, bringing in new guidelines, stricter rules, better strategies and far more concern about consumers. Additionally, he is credited for persuading the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to endorse HACCP in 1996, making it the fundamental safety program for meat inspection.

In 2008, after 15 years working with Jack in the Box, Dave started Gray Dog Partners, Inc., his second food safety consulting business specializing in food safety, food manufacturing, restaurant operations, supply chain management and strategic planning.

While Dave received countless awards for his achievements in food safety throughout his career, he often said, “It’s not about me. I work with lots of great people and it’s about saving lives.” Shortly before he died, Dave received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Food Safety Summit as part of the annual National Science Foundation Food Safety Innovation awards. In 2016, the National Provisioner food publication listed him as one of the 25 icons in the last 25 years. Other awards include the California Environmental Health Association’s Mark Nottingham Award for “recognizable and significant contributions in the field of environmental health”; Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Top 50 Players” for his leadership in defining a new standard for food service safety procedures and a wide range of awards and recognitions from meat and food science groups. Nation’s Restaurant News also named him Innovator of the Year in 2000.

Above all, Dave’s life was about purpose. He was actively involved in numerous food industry and scientific organizations over the years and served on boards as an advisor and a supporter of their cause.

Dave was committed to making everyone, including lost and hungry animals, safer and his work continues to save lives.                                                                                                          

Memorials in Dave’s honor will be held at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach, Calif., on Aug. 13, and at the Lake Ripley Country Club in Cambridge, Wis., on Sept. 17. To read more about Dave visit: http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/davidtheno/homepage.aspx.

About International Association of Food Protection (IAFP)

Each year, the International Association for Food Protection hosts an Annual Meeting, providing attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe. Held in various locations throughout North America, this meeting has grown over the years to become the leading food safety conference worldwide. IAFP 2017 will be held at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. 

The IAFP Annual Meeting is attended by more than 3,400 of the top industry, academic and governmental food safety professionals from six continents. This renowned event owes its reputation and success to the quantity, quality, and diversity of each year’s program; the quality and relevance of exhibits sharing the latest in available technologies; leading experts speaking on a variety of timely topics; and special recognition of outstanding professionals and students for their contributions in the food safety field. For more information, please visit www.foodprotection.org.

 

About Stop Foodborne Illness

Stop Foodborne Illness is a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org/awareness/. If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional.

For questions and personal assistance, please contact Stop Foodborne Illness’ Community Coordinator, Stanley Rutledge, at srutledge@stopfoodborneillness.org or 773-269-6555 x7.

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Press Release | Wed July 05, 2017, 03:54 PM EST


Media Contacts

Cindy Kurman
Public Relations, Kurman Communications, Inc.
Deirdre Schlunegger
CEO
Stanley Rutledge
Community Coordinator