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George Gellert, chairman and CEO of Elizabeth, N.J.-based food importer Gellert Global Group, and his family (pictured above) have endowed a new food safety professorship at the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y. The professorship will focus on the prevention and control of bacterial foodborne illnesses and zoonotic diseases passed from animals to humans, including public health threats.
"The association my family and I have had with Cornell has been a crucial element to our success in the food business," noted Gellert, a graduate of the university. "As leaders in the food industry, it is important to contribute to a business environment focused on food safety."
Last month, the program's first research chair was revealed: Martin Wiedmann, an internationally recognized expert on microorganisms that cause foodborne deaths. "Prof. Wiedmann is one of the world's leading experts on foodborne illness, and we are honored that he will be the inaugural appointee," said Gellert.
Gellert Global Group's proactive approach to quality control and food safety includes an in-house six-member team, including three Cornell alumni, to ensure strict adherence.
Cornell's Department of Food Science integrates the disciplines of chemistry, biology, nutrition, physiology, biotechnology and engineering to ensure access to healthy, affordable food.