Hagen to join Deloitte as food safety senior advisor

In new role former undersecretary for food safety will guide manufacturers and producers as they comply with increasingly complex regulation.

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, currently serving as Under Secretary for Food Safety at the (USDA, will join Deloitte's consumer products practice as a food safety senior advisor with Deloitte & Touche LLP. 

Dr. Hagen will advise Deloitte's clients on increased regulatory requirements, food and product safety challenges, supply chain, Traceback, prevention-based policies, strategy and communications, a statement said.

"Elisabeth will bring to Deloitte an impressive blend of regulatory level oversight and hands-on experience, stemming from her role as the highest ranking food safety official in the U.S.," said Pat Conroy, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and Deloitte's U.S. consumer products practice leader. "Her understanding of the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service and FDA, and her recognized status as a thought leader in national food safety policy, will further strengthen our practice's capabilities and enhance the industry insights we offer our clients."

Dr. Hagen took office as Under Secretary for Food Safety in August 2010. She oversees the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA's public health regulatory agency that ensures that the nation's commercial meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and labeled correctly. She also served as a principal member of the President's Food Safety Working Group.

As leader of FSIS, Dr. Hagen implemented many new initiatives and modern management tools, ushered in significant new policies that have enhanced consumer protection - including a proposed rule that will completely modernize U.S. poultry inspection. Additionally, she published a dynamic five-year strategic plan; implemented a comprehensive reform of the agency's data infrastructure and utilization; and employed innovative approaches to expand consumer food safety education.

Prior to her appointment as Under Secretary, Dr. Hagen served in a number of leadership roles at USDA, including as the department's Chief Medical Officer, and in the FSIS Office of Public Health Science. She was also actively involved in interagency efforts to better protect the public from food-borne illnesses, including the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Steering Committee, which guides the work of the nation's premier food-borne illness monitoring system. She was also a member of the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR), a national collaborative effort to detect, investigate, control, and prevent food-borne disease outbreaks.

"Food safety is an issue of extreme and increasing importance, not only for the end consumer but also for the manufacturers whose businesses rely on the public's trust," Dr. Hagen explained. "I am excited to be joining the team at Deloitte as we help manufacturers and producers that focus on safety as a top priority, and guide them as they comply with increasingly complex regulation."

Keith Denham, principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP and retail & consumer products national advisory services leader, said, "Our clients are seeking to embed prevention-first tools and processes into their operations to increase the certainty they have in protecting consumers from food safety problems.  Elisabeth's leadership will help companies 'see around the corner' to proactively manage these challenges."

Deloitte's globally integrated approach to food and product safety helps companies deploy solutions that enhance supply chain integrity and visibility as well as internal quality assurance programs. Deloitte assists clients in addressing a wide number of complex food and product safety topics such as micro-biology and hazard analysis through access to a network of specialists for science-based advisory consultations. The food & product safety group at Deloitte also guides clients through the decision-making process across the entire value chain using advanced analytics to identify, analyze, and interpret issues impacting their businesses.

Dr. Hagen holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a bachelor's degree from Saint Joseph's University. She is specialty trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases.

Deloitte is a leading presence in the consumer products industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 consumer product companies.  Delivering insights on the latest consumer product issues, effective practices, technology and operating procedures, Deloitte serves companies across multiple categories including food and beverage, apparel and footwear, personal care, and household products. 

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