AAFP Newsletter - 2015 4TH Quarter Edition


2015 4TH Quarter Edition

As a premier farm-to-fork region with some of the world’s largest companies in food safety, AAFP has the obligation to explore and provide cutting edge research about emerging pathogen and adulterant issues. The Arkansas chapter of AAFP is rare in that we have the world’s largest retailer/grocer, the largest meat company, and leading distribution/refrigerated transport companies headquartered within our state. We have an impressive and diverse group of food processors, produce, poultry, and livestock growers located around the state ranging from produce, fruit, prepared meals, canned foods, frozen foods, juices, wine, meat, sliced meats, etc. We have nationally prominent schools of agriculture and business, as well as the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s nationally recognized Center for Food Safety to support Arkansas’ farm to fork supply chain. 

President’s Message

The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents a broad range of members with a singular focus — protecting the global food supply. Within the association, you will find educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods.

Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 50 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.  At the Arkansas Affiliate of the International Association for Food Protection (AAFP) our goal is to provide a local forum to encourage improvement of all areas of food safety and quality; and to increase the knowledge and professional status of our membership in the areas of food safety and quality.

Our annual conference is September 13-15 in Fayetteville, AR at the Chancellor Hotel.  Speakers have addressed matters in food safety and technology, foodborne pathogen biology and potential opportunities for food systems concepts and veterinarian training.  We have been fortunate to have some of the leading food safety experts participate in the conference.  

By getting involved in AAFP, you will have the opportunity to interact with food safety professionals.   I encourage you to get involved.  If you would like to serve on a committee and/or become an officer let us know. 

We are looking for to a great 2016 and would like you to be a part of this dynamic food safety group!

Peggy Cook


About Your AAFP Leaders


Peggy Cook Ph.D., Corporate Food Safety and Regulatory Manager, Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats, Peggy_Cook@cargill.com

I have worked in academics and industry for a number of years with both domestic and global food and clinical markets.  My background includes laboratories, food safety, regulatory, and epidemiology.   I was member of the USDA National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) in Washington, D. C. for six years. This experience was very educational. It was an opportunity to work with scientists all around the U.S. and exchange knowledge. I also belong to several other professional associations.

I received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science/Secondary Education from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville before my Master of Science in Microbiology and Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology from the University of Arkansas. I am also an Adjunct Professor for the University of Arkansas Poultry Science Department and the Food Science Department.

My experience covers various aspects of Food Safety with a highlight on the following:

Food Safety Management Systems (FSSC 22000 Food Safety Management Systems and ISO 9001 Certifications.  Providing services for food safety microbial and chemistry testing, as well as manufacturing of “Standards” for testing systems in food processing facilities with ISO 22000, as well as ISO Accreditation ISO/IEC 17025, A2LA.  And management of a FSIS Pasteurized Egg Products Recognized Laboratory (PEPRLab) Program for the performance of Salmonella analysis on official pasteurized egg-product surveillance samples.

I am married and have two children. Our son isin graduate school at the University of Arkansas.   Our daughter is a Senior at the University of Arkansas. We enjoy our time together and are blessed.  I enjoy reading about current science topics and outdoor activities.

Peggy Cook



Conny Byler, Investigator USDA.FSIS.OIEA.CID,  lainspectora@netzero.net



Keith Day, QA Director Twin River Foods, kday@2river.com



Nancy Gushing, Corp Lab Manager OK Foods, Inc.   ngushing@okfoods.com

I began my laboratory career with George’s Poultry in 1990.  Getting my feet wet in the poultry process from the feed and hatchery perspectives.  In 1993, Dr. Amy Waldrop had an opening in her poultry processing lab.  This opportunity was instrumental in my laboratory career.  It gave me exposure to research, people, and technical meetings.  I then moved on to OK Foods in 1996, where I took the position as supervisor over the food laboratory.  Currently, I hold the position of Laboratory Manager.

I am married with two daughters.  I am also involved with The Call, a Christian based foster care group.



Dr. Ricke, Johnson

2016 AAFP Committees

Poster Awards

“The Awards Committee shall develop appropriate awards programs to recognize distinguished scientists who have made substantial contributions to Food Science and Technology and its related disciplines. Awards programs shall also be developed to recognize promising younger scientists and students.”


The Finance Committee shall be responsible for managing AAFP’s finances including preparing and submitting the budget.

Membership, Nominations & Qualifications

The Membership and Qualifications Committee shall review all committee and leadership nominations for compliance with AAFP’s requirements and shall recommend qualified candidates to the Executive Committee for acceptance.

Newsletter and Communications

“The Newsletter shall serve as a source of information about AAFP, its Members, and other news and information related to Food Science and Technology.”


November 30:

Deadline to submit nominations to the Awards Committee for the.

February 1:

Deadline to submit nominations to the Awards Committee for the


Chancellor Hotel, Fayetteville Arkansas

Chancellor Hotel, Fayetteville Arkansas

AAFP Conference

The Arkansas Association for Food Protection’s Annual Educational Conference was on
Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 at the Chancellor Hotel on the beautiful square in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

This year’s event attracted almost 150 of the leading food safety personnel in the region.  Those who attended the conference networked with AAFP’s impressive assortment of Global, National and Regional entities in Food Safety.   We offered presentations by academic and research experts that covered organisms and diverse applications from consumer use, food safety in preharvest and postharvest production, retail, produce, emerging issues, etc.  

Keynote speakers

Gary Acuff, Texas A&M University
Validation to improve food safety - What are you trying to validate?

Kerry Mulqueen, Technical Director, Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ)
Study of avian influenza in Indonesia for the World Health Organization


·       Produce Microbiology and Safety

·       Pet Food and Animal Feed Safety

·       Retail Food Safety

·       Emerging Issues in Food Safety

·       Sanitation

·       FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules – Challenges Facing the Food Industry - Speakers Dr. Craig W. Henry, Decernis LLC and Dr. Virginia Deibel, Covance

You can review the entire conference agenda at http://arkafp.org/latest-news2016/3/4/aafp-annual-conference-recap

Conference Sponsors

Gold Level Conference Sponsors


Silver Level Conference Sponsors


Bronze  Level Conference Sponsors