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BOULDER, Colo. -- Natural and organic retailer Wild Oats Markets, Inc. here yesterday said it hired Patricia DiPersio, Ph.D., R.D. for the newly created position of food safety specialist and corporate dietitian. DiPersio joins Dan Heiges, who was recently named director of research and development and quality assurance, to strengthen the Wild Oats Markets' standards department.
The department is responsible for developing all of Wild Oats and Henry's branded products; overseeing the retailer's standards and quality assurance programs; and directing the company's food science, nutrition, and safety initiatives.
"We carefully review every product before bringing it into our stores, " said Heiges. "Not only do we evaluate the flavor and authenticity of each item, we look at every ingredient and process used in the manufacturing process, including humane treatment of animals and environmental and societal issues, to ensure they meet our standards. With DiPersio's background in the fields of nutrition, food science and food safety, we have strengthened our Standards team to ensure we are bringing the highest-quality natural and organic products to our customers."
DiPersio brings 10 years' experience to Wild Oats in various aspects of food science and dietetics. She has designed and conducted educational programs to promote the safe handling of home-prepared foods, and has published her research in peer-reviewed journals including Food Microbiology, the Journal of Food Protection and the Journal of Food Quality. She has also lectured at meetings of the International Association of Food Protection and the Institute of Food Technologists.