Food Safety Modernization Workshop Series: Beyond the Basics


Karina Martino, Ph.D.
Specialist, Thermal Processing

Dr. Karina Martino is the latest addition to GMA's processing group where she assists members with food safety and processing needs.  Prior to joining GMA, Karina worked as an independent food safety consultant, advising clients on HACCP, food processing (especially for acidified foods), regulatory compliance, and product development. She was also an assistant professor and extension specialist at the University of Georgia Food Science and Technology Department.  A native of Paraguay, Karina got her MS and PhD in Biosystems Engineering from Michigan State University.

Kristen Spotz
Senior Manager of Food Safety and Quality Assurance

Kristen Spotz is the Senior Manager of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C., representing the world’s leading food, beverage, and consumer products companies.  Kristen has an extensive background in sanitation, continuous improvement and change control.  At GMA, Ms. Spotz oversees the import certification working group for FSMA, Food Safety Modernization Act, and leads the different working groups that assess the economic impact of FSMA.  In addition, she is a HACCP trainer and reviews HACCP plans for GMA and is also a member of GMA’s sanitation group.  Prior to her role at GMA, Ms. Spotz was a Quality Engineer along with a Quality Supervisor in a wide range of fields including medical device, snack foods and dietary supplements.   She has both designed and managed the environmental and finished product testing programs at many facilities.

Ms. Spotz holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida where she graduated Cum laude.  She is trained in HACCP and has engineering coursework in Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA).  Ms. Spotz is a member of the International Association for Food Protection and was previously active with the American Society for Quality (ASQ). 

Timothy A. Freier, Ph.D.
Division Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Microbiology, North America
Mérieux NutriSciences

Dr. Timothy A. Freier is a food microbiologist with over 25 years of experience in applied microbiology and food safety.  He is currently the Division Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Microbiology, North America at Mérieux NutriSciences and was previously Senior Director, Global Food Safety Innovation at Cargill.  Dr. Freier earned his B.A. in biology from Augustana University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, his M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from Iowa State University, and conducted postdoctoral work at Oregon State University.  He has published several refereed journal articles, book chapters and patents, and has given numerous invited presentations on a variety of food safety-related topics.  He was a co-developer and instructor for the American Meat Institute (AMI) “Advanced Listeria Intervention and Control Workshop” as well as serving on AMI’s Scientific Affairs and Grant Review Committees.

Dr. Freier has served as the Chairperson for several committees, including the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) Microbiological Safety Committee, GMA’s Task Force on the Control of Salmonella in Low-Moisture Foods, the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Meat and Poultry Professional Development Group, and the IAFP Food Safety Innovation Award Committee.  He is a member of the Sackler Institute’s Technology and Innovation in Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Working Group and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Food Safety Magazine.  Dr. Freier has served two terms on the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.

David Anderson
Senior Science Advisor

David Anderson, a Senior Science Advisor at GMA, recently joined the association after a distinguished career with Pillsbury/Green Giant, Gerber, and most recently Del Monte/Big Heart Pet Brands. He is a recognized expert in thermal processing and validation, especially of low moisture foods, having presented on these topics globally to both industry and regulatory audiences. He is on the Board of the Institute for Thermal Processing  Specialists and previously chaired GMA’s processing committee.

Jennifer McEntire, Ph.D.
Vice President, Science Operations

Dr. Jennifer Cleveland 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 forensic analyses.

A food microbiologist by training, Jennifer’s areas of expertise include recall and crisis management, traceability, food defense, and food regulations. Jennifer was previously Vice President and Chief Science Officer at The Acheson Group, where she supported food industry clients through recall and crisis situations.

Prior to joining TAG, Jennifer served as the Senior Staff Scientist and Director at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). She also held a 2 year appointment with USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture, and served as a visiting scientist at FDA CFSAN.

Jennifer earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Rutgers University as a USDA National Needs Fellow in food safety 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 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.

Ai Kataoka, MS
Scientist, Microbiology

Ai is responsible for conducting scientific research projects in the area of microbiological food safety/stability and laboratory services such as food microbiology testing related to quality control issues and foodborne pathogen screening analysis. 

Ms. Kataoka earned her BS in food science and technology from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and MS in food science from Kansas State University.

Carla Napier, MS
Assistant Scientist, Microbiology
Grocery Manufacturers Association

Carla Napier joined the GMA specializing in microbiology. As an assistant scientist, Ms. Napier assists member companies with quality issues, provides technical support for research related to foodborne pathogens, and participates in manuscript preparation for peer-reviewed journals. Ms. Napier’s latest co-authored publication is titled, “Survival of Salmonella Tennessee, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, and Enterococcus faecium in Peanut Paste Formulations at Two Different Levels of Water Activity and Fat.”

Ms. Napier earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in microbiology from George Mason University and her master’s degree in Food Safety from Michigan State University.