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Dairy team wins food safety leadership award

Dairy award
Martin Wiedmann, second from left, the Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety and project manager for the Cornell University Dairy Foods Extension, receives the Food Safety Leadership Award along with Anika D. Zuber, Harvest New York regional dairy processing and marketing specialist, and Sam Alcaine, right, assistant professor of dairy fermentations. They received the award from Ron Dunford, left, chair of the National Cheese Institute, at the Dairy Forum Jan. 30 in Orlando, Florida.

The Cornell University Dairy Foods Extension team received the inaugural Food Safety Leadership Award from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). The award, presented Jan. 30 at the Dairy Forum in Orlando, Florida, honors the team’s achievements in enhancing food safety in the dairy products industry.

The Dairy Foods Extension team in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a diverse group of faculty and staff with extensive knowledge that spans nearly all aspects of dairy science and technology. The program supports the production of safe, high-quality dairy products with specific expertise in microbial spoilage and food safety issues by providing dairy-focused training for dairy processors across the country.

Innovative training and workshops offered by the program allow established and startup dairy companies to develop their businesses and produce products safely. The program facilitates training on the Cornell campus and at dairy plants across New York, as dairy processors earn certificates in fluid milk production, cheese production, membrane filtration and separation, and production of other fermented dairy products.

IDFA selected the team for its comprehensive approach to support and improve food safety across the dairy industry. The team was lauded for its drive to share cutting-edge research conducted by its scientists with the global dairy industry.

“The program’s multidiscipline approach makes it an international leader in dairy food safety,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. “The Dairy Foods Extension team goes beyond the lab to offer its expertise both on campus and off. IDFA is honored to award the Cornell Dairy Foods Extension team for leading the way for dairy food safety on so many fronts.”

“We are honored to see our team at Cornell recognized and invite organizations involved in dairy to contact us and explore how we can work together,” said Martin Wiedmann, the Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety and project manager.

“Cornell’s leadership in food safety research and training has elevated dairy products standards around the world and especially in New York for a long time,” said Charles R. Lindberg, milk control program manager at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. “New York’s dairy industry is in a much better place because of the team’s efforts.”

Along with Wiedmann, members of the team are Samuel D. Alcaine, assistant professor of dairy fermentations; David M. Barbano, professor and director of the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center; Carmela Beliciu, dairy extension specialist; Kimberly R. Bukowski, program director; Louise Felker, program coordinator; Nicole Martin, associate director, Milk Quality Improvement Program; Carl Moody, Harvest New York regional dairy processing and marketing specialist; Steven C. Murphy, senior extension associate; Robert D. Ralyea, senior extension associate; and Anika D. Zuber, Harvest New York regional dairy processing and marketing specialist.

Matt Hayes is managing editor and social media officer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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