Jul 26, 2018
James Padden to lead Michigan food safety program

James Padden will serve manager of the department’s Food Safety and Inspection Program in the Food and Dairy Division, effective July 16, 2018, said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gordon Wenk.

Padden replaces Sandra Walker who retired in June.

“Jim’s combined management experience and extensive knowledge of food safety are an asset to the program, the department and the food industry,” said Wenk. “His expertise of state and federal food regulations and proven leadership skills will help further strengthen our efforts to assure a safe and wholesome food supply.”

Padden joined MDARD in 1995 and has over 22 years of food safety experience including serving as a food safety inspector in the department’s East Region, as a processing and labeling senior inspector, and most recently as the North Region supervisor, a position he held for the past 11 years. He also has 10 years of environmental remediation experience in the private sector.

Padden has specialized training and certification in several food safety processes on the state and federal levels, including specialized meat processing, mushroom identification, low acid canned foods, acidified foods, good manufacturing practices, and seafood and juice Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. He has attended the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods Shelf Stability course and has received training on the new Food Safety Modernization Act requirements.

Padden is a 1986 graduate of Michigan State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and physical science.

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