Stop Foodborne Illness to Honor David M. Theno, Jr. with the Dave Theno Food Safety Hero Award

Stop Foodborne Illness to Honor David M. Theno, Jr. with the Dave Theno Food Safety Hero Award

Press Release ( - CHICAGO - Jul 06, 2017 - Stop Foodborne Illness will present its first annual Dave Theno Food Safety Hero award on July 9 at this year’s International Association of Food Protection (IAPF) conference taking place July 9-12 in Tampa Bay, Florida. This prestigious award recognizes the numerous contributions Dave Theno has made to the food safety field. For 40 years, Theno worked to advance collaboration between the scientific community and the meat industry to solve food-safety issues and in so doing, left an indelible mark on the food safety landscape.

Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness, and Michael Taylor, Stop Foodborne Illness board member, will present the award at the Cheese and Wine Reception, which will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 9 in the Exhibit Hall of the Tampa Convention Center. Stop Foodborne Illness originally intended to present Dave with this award at their annual December event honoring Food Safety Heroes, but his recent and tragic death on June 19, 2017 encouraged the organization to instead present his award at this year’s IAPF conference.  The Theno family will receive the award on his behalf. All participants are invited to attend. To sign up for the conference, please visit

Additionally, Schlunegger and Taylor will announce the Dave Theno Fellowship, an annual fellowship award in memory of Dave’s work and his vision for advancement in food safety. The award will go to a new graduate from a food safety program or a public policy program. Stop Foodborne Illness has secured over $25,000 in donations for the program. To make a donation to the Dave Theno Fellowship, please visit his legacy page at….

About Dave Theno, Jr.

A lifelong animal lover and adventurous nature enthusiast, Dave’s goal was always to make animals, food and people safe. A graduate of West Aurora High School in Aurora, Illinois, Dave earned his B.S. degree in zoology and science journalism at Iowa State University before continuing his education at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in animal science by 1975.

After graduation, Dave grew his reputation at Peter Eckrich & Sons, Inc., Armour Food Company, Kellogg’s and Foster Farms. In 1989, Dave was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods with U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture.

To continue encouraging food companies to follow the rules and make food safe for customers, Dave launched his own consulting firm, Theno & Associates, Inc. Soon after in 1993, an E. coli outbreak erupted at Jack in the Box restaurants, killing four and injuring hundreds in California and the Pacific Northwest. Dave was immediately recruited to investigate what happened and figure out what could be done to stop it from ever happening again. His strategy, transparency and commitment to food safety changed the company and restructured the entire food industry.

In 2008, after 15 years working with Jack in the Box, Dave started Gray Dog Partners, Inc., his second food safety consulting business specializing in food safety, food manufacturing, restaurant operations, supply chain management and strategic planning.

Dave received countless awards for his achievements in food safety throughout his career, including a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Food Safety Summit as part of the annual National Science Foundation Food Safety Innovation awards, the California Environmental Health Association’s Mark Nottingham Award for “recognizable and significant contributions in the field of environmental health”, Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Top 50 Players” for his leadership in defining a new standard for food service safety procedures and a wide range of awards and recognitions from meat and food science groups. Nation’s Restaurant News also named him Innovator of the Year in 2000. In 2016, the National Provisioner listed him as one of the 25 icons in the last 25 years

Memorials in Dave’s honor will be held at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach, Calif., on Aug. 13, and at the Lake Ripley Country Club in Cambridge, Wis., on Sept. 17. To read more about Dave visit:

About International Association of Food Protection (IAFP)

Each year, the International Association for Food Protection hosts an Annual Meeting, providing attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe. Held in various locations throughout North America, this meeting has grown over the years to become the leading food safety conference worldwide. IAFP 2017 will be held at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

The IAFP Annual Meeting is attended by more than 3,400 of the top industry, academic and governmental food safety professionals from six continents. This renowned event owes its reputation and success to the quantity, quality, and diversity of each year’s program; the quality and relevance of exhibits sharing the latest in available technologies; leading experts speaking on a variety of timely topics; and special recognition of outstanding professionals and students for their contributions in the food safety field. For more information, please visit

About Stop Foodborne Illness

Stop Foodborne Illness is a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional.

For questions and personal assistance, please contact Stop Foodborne Illness’ Community Coordinator, Stanley Rutledge, at or 773-269-6555 x7.

Source : Stop Foodborne Illness


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