November 5/Market News Publishing -- Maple Leaf Foods announced the appointment of Dr. Randall Huffman to the position of chief food safety officer for Maple Leaf Foods. Huffman will assume this position effective January 5, 2009, reporting to Michael H. McCain, president and CEO. He joins Maple Leaf Foods from his current role as president of the American Meat Institute (AMI) Foundation.

As president of the AMI Foundation, he led the Food Safety Initiative, which in the past eight years has funded over 60 food safety research projects. He also worked with federal agencies to increase support of food safety research; represented AMI on numerous issues related to food safety; and managed a range of research related to nutrition, diet and health issues. Dr. Huffman also served as a primary technical and scientific resource to the industry on food safety and quality.

Prior to joining AMI, he held a number of senior roles related to food safety, quality assurance and product development in the food industry.

"Dr. Huffman brings vast scientific and industry knowledge and experience to Maple Leaf in global food safety best practices," said McCain. "He will drive continuous improvement in our protocols, assets and human resource strategies that will reflect the latest research and highest standards globally."

As chief food safety officer, Huffman will have overall responsibility for leading Maple Leaf's food safety and quality programs across the company. This will involve identifying and assessing global best operating practices, technologies, ingredients and resources that support Maple Leaf's leadership in food safety and quality assurance. He will also support the establishment of a Food Safety Advisory Council, a team of experts who will increase the company's access to global knowledge and expertise in areas of food safety, microbiology and public education.

Huffman holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Meat and Animal Science from the University of Florida and a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Auburn University. He sits on the Cornell University Institute of Food Science Advisory Council; the Food Safety Research and Response Network Advisory Board; the Kansas State University Animal Industries Advisory Council and has participated on key U.S. Department of Agriculture food safety research advisory panels.

From the November 10, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash