Peeling the Onion: Unraveling Food Safety Certification and Third Party Audits

Jennifer McEntire, Ph.D.

Vice President, Science Operations, GMA

Dr. Jennifer McEntire is Vice President of Science Operations at the Grocery Manufacturers Association where she oversees the microbiology, chemistry and packaging laboratories, process authority team, and consumer complaint product forensics analyses.
A food microbiologist by training, Jennifer’s areas of expertise include traceability, food defense, and food regulations, especially FSMA. Jennifer was previously Vice President and Chief Science Officer at The Acheson Group, where she helped food industry clients understand their supply chain risks and prioritize mitigations in the context of the changing regulatory landscape and global food safety system.
Prior to joining The Acheson Group, Jennifer served as the Senior Staff Scientist and Director of Science & Technology Projects at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). She also held a 2 year appointment as the Panel Manager for the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Small Business Innovation Research grant program in the area of food science and nutrition, and served as a visiting scientist for FDA CFSAN.
Jennifer earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Rutgers University as a USDA National Needs Fellow and received a Bachelor of Science with Distinction, magna cum laude, in food science from the University of Delaware. She was the 2010 recipient of the Rutgers University Food Science Alumni Association Communication Award and in 2012 was honored with the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Distinguished Young Alumni award. She has also received two awards from the FDA CFSAN Center Director related to her work on food defense as well as food safety collaboration training materials.
She has authored more than 20 peer reviewed publications, 6 book chapters, and numerous white papers. She is a sought after speaker and is often quoted in trade and popular press. She is on the Board of Phi Tau Sigma (the food science honorary society) and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Food Traceability Center. 


Mark N. Overland

Director, Global Certification, Cargill Food Safety Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Cargill Incorporated

Mark Overland joined Cargill in 1994 managing dietary requirements, harmonizing competing standards and ensuring compliance. In 2006, Mr. Overland moved to Cargill Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Affairs where he added responsibility for strategy, policy, and implementation for Food Safety Management Systems and certification in food safety and dietary areas covering approximately 1200 Cargill plants and contract manufacturers in 67 countries. Mr. Overland serves in Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) as Vice-Chair of the Auditor Competency Sub Committee and as a member of the Accreditation Task Force, is a member of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Committee on Food Safety, co-leads the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Import Certification comments on related FDA Food Safety Modernization (FMSA) proposals, is a member of ISOTC34 and ISO/CASCO Joint Working Group 36, is a member of FSSC22000 Board of Stakeholders, and is actively engaged in industry, government, and NGO global efforts to drive transparency in food safety, harmonization of standards and affect positive public health outcomes.


Maile Gradison Hermida

Senior Associate, Food and Agriculture Law, Hogan Lovells

Maile Gradison Hermida practices with Hogan Lovells in the area of food and agriculture law. She represents food companies, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and their trade associations.
Maile provides assistance to trade associations and food companies with fashioning comments and developing strategies in response to agency rulemaking and other public policy issues. Her practice is increasingly focused on counseling companies and trade associations as to the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, including helping them prepare for the significant new requirements. She also regularly counsels food companies on labeling compliance and advertising claim substantiation.
Maile graduated with high honors from The George Washington University Law School.