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NSF International, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based independent global organization, has appointed Gina Nicholson to Global Director of Retail Accounts.
With over 23 years of retail food safety experience, Nicholson (pictured left) will focus on utilizing new technology and science-based approaches developed by NSF to create supply chain food safety management systems and training programs that can be scaled to fit a global retailer’s operations worldwide. This includes overseeing NSF’s team of retail food safety experts that have served as a resource for consulting and technical services for major global retail brands such as Sodexo, HMSHost, T.G.I. Friday’s and Jack in the Box.
“New developments in technology and increased cooperation among government and the food industry have led to improvements in addressing foodborne illness outbreaks,” Nicholson said. “However, prevention through training and a strong farm to fork food safety program must remain the focus of retailers as the globalization of the food supply chain poses new challenges.”
“Food safety and quality is equal to brand protection and no third-party organization understands this better than NSF International,” Nicholson continued. “NSF has cultivated a team of leading scientists and regulatory experts that understand the science behind food safety and quality and use innovative approaches to tailor food safety programs for retailers all over the world.”
Nicholson has managed all aspects of retail food safety programs and served as the manager of health promotion for the Columbus Public Health Department where she implemented several nationally awarded programs, such as the NACCHO Model Practice for the Food Safety Tool Box. These efforts led to the Columbus Public Health Department receiving the Samuel J. Crumbine Award in 2009 for having the best food protection program in the nation.
In addition to her new role at NSF, Nicholson is also an active member of several food safety committees including the The Ohio State University Environmental Health Sciences Advisory Board, as well as several committees with the Conference for Food Protection, the International Association for Food Protection and the Food Safety Summit.
NSF International tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. In 2012, NSF launched a behavior-based food safety training model in partnership with Cognisco that combines leading research on human behavior and psychology with their expertise in food safety. An initial assessment of nearly 10,000 trained food handlers revealed that 41 percent of these workers still demonstrate a dangerous gap between their knowledge of food safety handling practices and their actual application of these principles in the workplace.