The International Dairy Foods Association appointed Jonathan Gardner, a longtime food safety expert at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to fill the position of vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. In this role, Gardner will direct all aspects of IDFA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certification Program, and oversee product safety and quality control issues, as well as federal and state regulatory affairs. He also will participate in International Dairy Federation committees and the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS).
While at FDA, Gardner served for eight years as a consumer safety officer on the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Grade "A" Milk Safety Team. In this position, he focused on regulatory issues involving the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) and served on several NCIMS committees, including the Third-Party Certification Pilot Program Committee, the Technical Review Committee and the Heating and Cooling Section Review Committee.
Most recently, Gardner worked in FDA's Division of Human Resource Development as the lead training officer for Grade "A" dairy and aseptic processing courses. He also led courses on environmental sampling, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for food, food safety management at retail and veterinary medicine training.
Before joining FDA, Gardner worked as an environmental health specialist for the Virginia Department of Health, where he served as the liaison between the department and other state and federal agencies involved in food and dairy regulation. He inspected Grade "A" dairy processing facilities and regularly validated the processing equipment for a variety of pasteurization systems.
"Jon brings a wealth of experience to our regulatory and international teams, and we are extremely excited to have him come on board at this critical time," said Clay Hough, senior group vice president of IDFA, based in Washington, D.C. "I know he will be a valuable resource, both within IDFA and among our member companies, especially those planning to gain HACCP certification."
A graduate of James Madison University, Gardner earned a bachelor's degree in environmental and public health. He also holds an associate degree in occupational science, culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion-a-year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org.