Undeclared Allergens: Trends, Labeling, and Opportunities for Improvement

Kathy Gombas
Senior Advisor
FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Kathy Gombas is a recognized food safety expert with thirty years of experience in food processing, preventive controls, and food safety auditing. She has been with FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for nine years and is currently a Senior Advisor with the Office of Food Safety. Kathy is supporting the Agency’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation efforts as a member of the FSMA Steering Committee, co-lead for the FSMA Training Workgroup, and advisor to the Preventive Controls Implementation workgroup that is focusing on inspection approaches.

Before coming to CFSAN, Kathy held food safety positions at Dean Foods overseeing their corporate Supplier Food Safety Management Program and at Kraft Foods corporate conducting food safety audits worldwide. Kathy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Northern Arizona University.

Scott Hegenbart
Manager, Scientific Affairs
ConAgra Foods

At ConAgra, Mr. Hegenbart coordinates scientific information to support corporate and marketing communications both internally and externally. He also conducts research and guide policy and procedure development for chemical food safety issues--particularly food allergens. In addition, he supports the nutrition and regulatory staff by researching, writing and editing technical reviews.

Scott Seys, PhD, MPH, CPH
Senior Health Scientist: Epidemiologist
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Scott Seys has been with the USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service since 2005 and is currently a senior epidemiologist in the Office of Policy and Program Development.  In his current position, Scott focuses on guidance and product verification related to food allergens, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, and how foodborne illness investigations affect agency policies.  Prior to working at FSIS, he was the deputy state epidemiologist for the Wyoming Department of Health where he coordinated the investigation and surveillance of infectious diseases.  Scott received his MPH in epidemiology and PhD in environmental health both from the University of Minnesota.

Tom Kuntz
Lead RFR Coordinator

Tom Kuntz has been with FDA for 4 years as the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Coordinator for CFSAN’s Office of Compliance. Through his work with the RFR, he has been involved with follow up and policy decisions regarding a wide range of high profile public health issues.