Our Experts

The Food Safety Spot utilizes subject matter experts from all walks of  food safety life, from professors and researchers to food managers and executives. Read a little bit about our featured experts below.

Larry Lynch

CEO, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals

Larry Lynch, a 25-year veteran of the association and business world, is president and CEO of National Registry of Food Safety Professionals.  Prior to joining National Registry, Larry served as the director of the renown Disney Institute where he and his team assisted companies from the Fortune 100 to start-up businesses to government organizations in applying the Disney leadership, management and customer service principles to their own companies and organizations.

In addition to his success in the business world, Larry has been a leader in trade and professional association management and is also active in the world of conformity assessment.  Larry has served as Executive Director of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Foundation Director of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs and the Managing Director of the North American Packaging Association, and currently serves as President of the United States Personal Chef Association. He was recently named an assessor for the American National Standards Institute’s new certificate accreditation program.

See all of Larry’s posts.

Dave McSwane

Executive Director, Conference for Food Protection

Dr. David McSwane was Professor of Public Health and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Science in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at the Indiana University.  In addition to his administrative duties he teaches courses in environmental health, food safety, and environmental health policy at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  His research targets environmental hazards that cause illness and injury with a specific focus on food safety and defense.

Dr. McSwane currently serves as Executive Director for the Conference for Food Protection.

Rich Linton

Dean, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences , NC State University

Dr. Linton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, a Master’s Degree in Food Science, and a Doctorate in Food Science all at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  Prior to his role as Dean of CALS at North Carolina State University, Dr. Linton served as Department Chair of Food Science and Technology at the Ohio State University (2011-2012), and as a faculty member of the Department of Food Science at Purdue University (1994-2011).  While at Purdue University, Linton also served as the Director (and founder) of the Center for Food Safety Engineering and as the Associate Director of Agricultural Research Programs.

During his 19 year academic career, Richard has published over 60 referred journal articles, 11 textbooks, and over 75 Extension publications.  He has also presented over 250 invited talks presentations at state, national, and international meetings and has received more than $15 million in research funding.

Larry Pong

Instructor of Microbiology 51, City College of San Francisco

Larry has his BA in Zoology with minor equivalent in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley and a Doctorate in Education from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California.  Larry has over 30 years of experience in various fields of food safety, most recently as Instructor of Microbiology 51 at City College of San Francisco, where he has taught for the past 24 years.

Patrick Brown

Senior Director of Food Safety, Rite Aid Corporation

Responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing HACCP based food safety, sanitation, pest control, bio-security, training and quality assurance programs for 4700 retail drug stores, food stores, ice cream operations and 11 distribution centers and an ice cream plant in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Responsibilities also include developing and implementing food safety and security certification training programs; assisting with ensuring internal and external regulatory audit compliance and directing and implementing standards for chemical and pest control vendors. Other responsibilities include interfacing with merchandising teams and quality assurance to ensure vendors and suppliers meet GFSI standards; supply and logistics to monitor and ensure compliance with distribution and transportation GMP standards; real estate and engineering to assist with new store design and development; asset protection to develop business continuity and bio-security protocols; and regulators to ensure company compliance with existing laws and regulations.

Read all of Patrick’s posts.

Hector Dela Cruz

Chief, LA County Environmental Health, Mid-Wilshire District

Hector Dela Cruz is Chief of Los Angeles County Environmental Health, Mid-Wilshire (MW) District. The MW District oversees over 2,000 retail food establishments, 25 certified farmers markets, and an annual average of 30 community events with over 300 food booths. Hector received his B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Health from California State University, Northridge and has over 17 years of experience in the field of food safety. In this capacity, he has provided training for members of the food service industry, initiated programs to promote food safety in local communities, and has managed the regulatory oversight of retail, wholesale, mobile, and temporary food establishments.

Steven Sklare

Sales Executive Food Safety Services, SGS North America Inc.

Steven Sklare, REHS, CP-FS, LEHP is an International Sales Executive for SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.  Steven has domestic and international responsibilities for managing and developing SGS’s Food Safety Services which include global brand protection for leading retail, QSR, manufacturing, distribution, and import and export organizations, through effective Supply Chain Risk Management.  Steven has many years of experience in the food safety, sanitation and pest control industries.  Steven is a certified trainer under many food safety schemes and has been involved in creating, writing and updating food safety training materials for private companies, the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals and The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.