Dr. Willette M. Crawford is a leading food microbiologist with over 14 years of experience in food safety that spans both regulatory and industry issues in the primary production and processing arenas. She is a proven leader in the fresh produce industry with experience across the entire supply chain and has held leadership positions for leading companies such as Chiquita Brands International and Green Giant Fresh. Dr. Crawford also served as a technical advisor and subject matter expert for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations and international standards and provided policy and technical support in FDA’s response to foodborne illness outbreaks, recalls, investigations, and import issues.
Dr. Crawford has worked in various research disciplines addressing different areas of public and environmental health and has presented her food safety and food defense research internationally as a guest lecturer and at professional meetings and conferences. Her work has included research with the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), US Dept. of Energy plant pathology research, collaboration with USDA on Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat foods, and the creation of a Food Defense and Bio-terrorism Simulation training tool for public health agencies and the food industry to assess the public health and economic impacts of intentional attacks on the nation’s food supply. She earned her doctorate in Food Science from Purdue University concentrating in Food Microbiology, a Master of Public Health degree from East Tennessee State University, and BS degrees in both chemistry and biology from South Carolina State University.
She is an active member of several industry organizations and serves on various committees such as United Fresh Produce Association’s Food Safety and Technology Council and the International Association for Food Protection’s Fruit and Vegetable PDG. She has authored and reviewed numerous industry and regulatory guidance documents, food safety and microbiology book chapters, and regulatory reports. Additionally she provided instruction for the Institute of Food Technologists Certified Food Scientist Global Certification and serves as a Lead Instructor for the FSMA Preventive Controls Qualified Individual & FSVP training.