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Bill Pool, manager for produce safety at Wegmans Food Markets, has been named the 2015 Technical Award winner by the United Fresh Produce Association.
Recognizing an individual who has made "significant technical contributions" to the fresh produce industry, Pool will accept the award on June 9 at the United Fresh Convention's opening general session in Chicago.
“Bill is an icon of the United Fresh Food Safety & Technology Council where his wisdom and reasonable approach have been critical to the success of many produce food safety initiatives the Council has driven for the industry,” said Dr. David Gomabs, United Fresh’s SVP of food safety and technology.
Pool began his career serving in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps from 1970-1973, auditing facilities providing food to the U.S. military. In this role, he also monitored compliance with contract requirements and performed sanitary audits on major commissary facilities.
He joined Wegmans’ consumer affairs department in 1973, and over the span of 25 years was responsible for food safety and regulatory compliance in all of the grocer's stores. He also was involved with Wegmans’ program to increase grower adoption of IPM practices and marketing of fresh products grown with documented IPM practices.
Pool later transitioned to Wegmans’ produce team in June 1998, where he worked with employees, buyers and suppliers to understand and identify best growing and best post-harvest handling practices. He is currently involved in Wegmans’ efforts to move local growers toward greater implementation of GAPs.
“As an advocate of food safety practices at all stages of the supply chain long before the need was generally recognized, Bill has more than earned this recognition," Gomabs added. "I personally thank him for his dedication and contributions to the fresh produce industry."