Tracy L. Skaer, PharmD, FASHP, FASCP is a Professor Emeritus of Pharmacotherapy with over 30 years of pharmaceutical experience; 10 years as an expert witness. She is a licensed pharmacist in California, Idaho, and Washington. Dr. Skaer is a Fellow of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacist, and a Member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacist's (ACCP) Pain and Palliative Care Practice and Research Network (PRN).
Dr. Skaer's research interests include chronic pain, co-morbid mental illness in chronic disease, depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, mindfulness, complementary and alternative medicine, and pharamcoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology. Her research has been supported by over $3.2 million in grants from foundations and pharmaceutical industry.
Litigation Support - Dr. Skaer has completed several expert cases across the United States. Her services are available to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant, including record review, written reports, deposition, and trial testimony. Dr. Skaer's cases involve:
Claire K. Sand, PhD, is a Global Packaging TechnologyLeader with over 35 years of Food Science and Packaging experience.
Dr. Sand is the owner and founder of Packaging Technology and Research, LLC. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University and CalPoly, and a monthly contributor to Packaging Digest.
Dr. Sand's background includes working with Total Quality Marketing, Nestle, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Safeway, and academia, as well as in basic research, development market research, and marketing in Germany, Colombia, and Thailand.
She is an IFT Fellow, a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Food Packaging Award , a member of numerous Editorial Boards, the author of the Packaging Value Chain, and is in several leadership positions.
Litigation Support - Dr. Claire Sand is an experienced food packaging expert witness for attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant. Claire has served as an expert witness in 18 cases since 2016, involving 8 patents, 4 food packaging and food spoilage cases, and 6 other cases.
Her cases include Food and Beverage, Packaging and Labeling, and Patent and Intellectual Property litigation and lawsuits. Dr. Sand is available to consult, construct and write expert reports, serve as expert in depositions and testify.
Areas of Expertise:
Patent Infringement and Invalidity - including patent infringement, patent invalidity, forensics related to patents and related lawsuits, design and utility patent infringement, food packaging patents, Patent or design infringement
Trademark, Trade Dress or Trade Secret Disputes
Food Package Interactions - including food damage and spoilage, food packaging safety, foods and how packaging interacts with food,
Food Package Design - including flexible film, rigid packaging - bottles, cans jars, etc., semi-rigid packaging- foam trays, Food packaging product development, Integrity of packaged goods for warehousing
Food Package and Packaging Forensics - including failure analysis, defective packaging
Material Science - including paperboard, polymers and plastics
mdi Consultants, Inc - Experts in FDA regulatory affairs, quality assurance and ISO 9000 certification. With 6 years in the FDA and 26 years consulting to the industry, mdi Consultants, Inc. has been an invited Speaker worldwide on FDA regulations and policies and has obtained FDA expert status as third party auditors.
We utilize the following three part approach to providing high quality services to our clients:
Unsurpassed consultant experience – we identify and recruit only top quality consultants with deep industry knowledge to provide the most complete and insightful advice to our clients
Up-to-date systems and processes – we have highly defined systems (e.g. manuals, training programs, technical files) and processes (e.g. audit methodologies, 510(k) submission, validations) that are constantly refined and kept current across the ever changing regulatory environment
Involvement in regulation development – we stay ahead of policies by participating in the development of regulation (e.g. HACCP, Scientific Advisor to U.S. Congressmen)
Dr. Ewen Todd is a Food Safety Expert with over 45 years of knowledge and experience in general food safety and Food Microbiology Issues. Specifically, he has extensive experience in the reporting and surveillance of Foodborne Disease, as well as development of analytical methods for identifying foodborne pathogens. As a result of his work with the industry and his knowledge of foodborne disease, Dr. Todd has influenced research programs and regulatory approaches taken by the Health Protection Branch of Health Canada. In the US, he held the position of Director of the National Food Safety and Toxicology Center and the Food Safety Policy Center at Michigan State University.
A leader in microbial research, foodborne disease surveillance, costing of outbreaks, food safety policy, seafood toxins, standard-setting, risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication. He has worked in numerous countries educating and training, and collaborating to set up surveillance systems, food safety policies, regulations, and HACCP and other control strategies, including China, Cambodia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Europe, as well as Canada and the USA. He is also familiar with food defense and food fraud issues, and waterborne disease. He is familiar with the US and Canadian food industry, both foodservice and food processing, HACCP, disease investigation, food, and equipment contamination.
Since leaving the Canadian government and entering academia and as a consultant, he has been an expert witness in 25 cases in both the U.S. and Canada where foodborne illnesses have occurred. He has testified on the behalf of plaintiffs who suffered from E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, ciguatoxin fish poisoning, yeast, and unknown agents. He has also represented defendants in two illness cases. Therefore, his litigation services are available for both Plaintiff and Defense.
Areas of Expertise
General Food Safety and Spoilage Issues
HACCP and GHP Systems
Standards for Poultry
Listeria Monocytogenes in Soft Cheeses
Standards for Poultry
Investigation of Foodborne and Waterborne Illnesses
Foodborne Disease Surveillance Systems
Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Risk Governance
Safety of Aquaculture Systems
Norovirus in Elder Care and Other Facilities
Salmonella and Shigella in Schools and Child Care Centers
Salmonella in Tahini and Other Oil-based Foods
Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Leafy Greens
Staphylococcus aureus in Cheese, Clostridium botulinum in Canned or Preserved Food and Native American / Inuit Fermented Food
Listeria monocytogenes in Deli Meats and Soft Cheeses
Controlling Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-eat Foods
Hand washing with soap is a practice that has long been recognized as a major barrier to the spread of disease in food production, preparation, and service and in health care settings, including hospitals, child care centers, and elder care facilities. Many of these settings present multiple opportunities for spread of pathogens within at-risk populations, and extra vigilance must be applied. Unfortunately, hand hygiene is not always carried out effectively, and both enteric and respiratory diseases are easily spread in these environments. Where water is limited or frequent hand hygiene is required on a daily basis, such as for many patients in hospitals and astronauts in space travel, instant sanitizers or sanitary wipes are thought to be an effective way of preventing contamination and spread of organisms among coworkers and others. Most concerns regarding compliance are associated with the health care field, but the food industry also must be considered.
Alcohol compounds are increasingly used as a substitute for hand washing in health care environments and some public places because these compounds are easy to use and do not require water or hand drying materials. However, the effectiveness of these compounds depends on how much soil (bioburden) is present on the hands. Workers in health care environments and other public places must wash their hands before using antiseptics and/or wearing gloves. However, alcohol-based antiseptics, also called rubs and sanitizers, can be very effective for rapidly destroying some pathogens by the action of the aqueous alcohol solution without the need for water or drying with towels.
During various daily activities at home and work, hands quickly become contaminated. Some activities increase the risk of finger contamination by pathogens more than others, such as the use of toilet paper to clean up following a diarrheal episode, changing the diaper of a sick infant, blowing a nose, or touching raw food materials. Many foodborne outbreak investigation reports have identified the hands of food workers as the source of pathogens in the implicated food. The most convenient and efficient way of removing pathogens from hands is through hand washing. Important components of hand washing are potable water for rinsing and soaps to loosen microbes from the skin. Hand washing should occur after any activity that soils hands and certainly before preparing, serving, or eating food.
The role played by food workers and other individuals in the contamination of food has been identified as an important contributing factor leading to foodborne outbreaks. To prevent direct bare hand contact with food and food surfaces, many jurisdictions have made glove use compulsory for food production and preparation. When properly used, gloves can substantially reduce opportunities for food contamination. However, gloves have limitations and may become a source of contamination if they are punctured or improperly used. Experiments conducted in clinical and dental settings have revealed pinhole leaks in gloves.
Contamination of food and individuals by food workers has been identified as an important contributing factor during foodborne illness investigations. Physical and chemical barriers to prevent microbial contamination of food are hurdles that block or reduce the transfer of pathogens to the food surface from the hands of a food worker, from other foods, or from the environment. In food service operations, direct contact of food by hands should be prevented by the use of barriers, especially when gloves are not worn. Although these barriers have been used for decades in food processing and food service operations, their effectiveness is sometimes questioned or their use may be ignored. Physical barriers include properly engineered building walls and doors to minimize the flow of outside particles and pests to food storage and food preparation areas; food shields to prevent aerosol contamination of displayed food by customers and workers; work clothing designated strictly for work (clothing worn outdoors can carry undesirable microorganisms, including pathogens from infected family members, into the work environment); and utensils such as spoons, tongs, and deli papers to prevent direct contact between hands and the food being prepared or served. Money and ready-to-eat foods should be handled as two separate operations, preferably by two workers.
This article, the sixth in a series reviewing the role of food workers in foodborne outbreaks, describes the source and means of pathogen transfer. The transmission and survival of enteric pathogens in the food processing and preparation environment through human and raw food sources is reviewed, with the main objective of providing information critical to the reduction of illness due to foodborne outbreaks. Pathogens in the food preparation area can originate from infected food workers, raw foods, or other environmental sources. These pathogens can then spread within food preparation or processing facilities through sometimes complex pathways and may infect one or more workers or the consumer of foods processed or prepared by these infected workers.
In this article, the fifth in a series reviewing the role of food workers in foodborne outbreaks, background information on the routes of infection for food workers is considered. Contamination most frequently occurs via the fecal-oral route, when pathogens are present in the feces of ill, convalescent, or otherwise colonized persons. It is difficult for managers of food operations to identify food workers who may be excreting pathogens, even when these workers report their illnesses, because workers can shed pathogens during the prodrome phase of illness or can be long-term excretors or asymptomatic carriers.
In this article, the fourth in a series reviewing the role of food workers in foodborne outbreaks, background information on the presence of enteric pathogens in the community, the numbers of organisms required to initiate an infection, and the length of carriage are presented. Although workers have been implicated in outbreaks, they were not always aware of their infections, either because they were in the prodromic phase before symptoms began or because they were asymptomatic carriers.
In this article, the third in a series of several reviewing the role of food workers in 816 foodborne outbreaks, factors contributing to outbreaks and descriptions of different categories of worker involvement are discussed.
This article is the second in a series of several by members of the Committee on the Control of Foodborne Illness of the International Association of Food Protection, and it continues the analysis of 816 outbreaks where food workers were implicated in the spread of foodborne disease.
Food workers in many settings have been responsible for foodborne disease outbreaks for decades, and there is no indication that this is diminishing. The Committee on Control of Foodborne Illnesses of the International Association for Food Protection was tasked with collecting and evaluating any data on worker-associated outbreaks.