Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, announced that it will launch a new business platform focused on food safety. Elanco will market food-safety products and services to the food-animal industry through Elanco Food Solutions.
“Consumers have high expectations for their food to be safe, so Elanco Food Solutions is providing technologies to reduce food-borne pathogens in packing and processing plants,” said K. Douglas Miller, director of Elanco Food Solutions. “We realize there is no single ‘silver-bullet’ solution, which is why we will deliver multiple pre- and post-harvest interventions for beef, poultry and pork packers and processors that are part of a total pathogen-control system for the meat and poultry industries.”
Elanco will develop new technologies that will help the food chain protect consumers from such harmful food-borne pathogens as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that food-borne diseases cause an annual 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Food-borne illnesses cost the United States between $5 billion and $22 billion annually, with Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 alone costing more than $3 billion.
“By 2050, the world population is projected to increase by 3 billion people and world food demand is expected to double,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco. “This convergence not only means further globalization of the food chain to meet demand but also heightened awareness of how food is produced and processed on its way to families and communities around the world.”
Simmons cited a 2008 Gallup study which revealed that 60 percent of U.S. consumers report avoiding certain foods or brands as a result of government-issued food-safety recalls or advisories.
“Even in these tough economic conditions, concerns about food safety are still top-of-mind,” Simmons said. “A multiple-intervention strategy allows the food chain to help reduce the likelihood of food-borne illnesses and increase consumer confidence in our food supply.”
Added Miller, “Elanco Food Solutions is uniquely qualified to bring food-safety products and knowledge solutions to the meat and poultry supply chain. Elanco is excited to expand our business to deliver integrated science-based solutions that will help packers and processors deliver high-quality, safe and affordable beef, poultry and pork products to consumers.”
Management team named
Miller will lead the Elanco Food Solutions team as director of business operations. He joined Elanco in 2000 and has served in several clinical research and product development roles in the U.S. and abroad. Miller earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in animal science from the University of Illinois.
David Cobb is the director of marketing. Cobb joined Elanco in 1982 and has worked in the company’s cattle, poultry and swine businesses, leading new-product launches in more than 15 countries. Cobb has managed a Lilly distribution center and is a certified Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma; he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from Duke University.
Tom Nicholson is director of sales and technical services. He has more than 20 years of experience in the animal-health industry and food chain with such companies as Ivy Natural Solutions, VetLife, Syntex Animal Health and Pfizer Animal Health. Nicholson has spent the last several years developing and commercializing new food-safety technologies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Iowa State University.
Patrick Mies, PhD, is a technical consultant responsible for supporting the company’s beef food-safety technologies. Mies earned a bachelor’s in animal science and doctorate degree in meat science from Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree in meat science from Colorado State University. He has led food-safety programs for Booth Creek Natural Foods and Harris Ranch Beef Company.
Rob Ames is associate brand manager. After earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University and a master’s of agriculture degree from Colorado State University, Ames was named the first executive director of Certified Hereford Beef LLC. He was a coauthor of the 1995 National Beef Quality Audit, and focused on sales and marketing programs for Ivy Natural Solutions’ food-safety technologies and direct-fed microbials prior to joining Elanco.
Knowledge solutions a critical component
In addition to providing multiple food-safety technologies for its customers, Elanco Food Solutions also will offer its customers the Food Safety Knowledge Solutions™ program, a unique benchmarking system that uses statistical process control (SPC) methodology to help packers and processors effectively manage their pathogen-control systems. It is available exclusively for Elanco Food Solutions customers.
“Food Safety Knowledge Solutions is not a ranking system. Rather, it’s a systematic, objective way for packers to analyze and compare their data against industry standards and to identify the factors that contribute to higher or lower pathogen levels in their facilities,” Miller explained. “Because the program helps packers and processors analyze both pathogen data and operational data, it allows them to more effectively manage their total pathogen-control systems.”
The Food Safety Knowledge Solutions database is managed by AgSpan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elanco, which has a 12-year history of maintaining data integrity and client confidentiality.
Multiple interventions in the pipeline
“Elanco is committed to developing a full line of food-safety technologies for our partners in the food-animal packing and processing industry,” said Simmons. “We will introduce several food-safety technologies in the coming months for beef and poultry packers and processors.”
“Elanco Food Solutions is very excited about the opportunity to be a leader in providing new food-safety technologies and services that will help packers and processors meet the growing demand for safe, wholesome food,” added Miller. “We are proud we’ll be offering a comprehensive line of food-safety products — from pre-harvest to ready-to-eat meat — for multiple species that are part of the food chain’s total pathogen-control systems.”