Entrepreneur works to help small businesses ensure food safety

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on food safety, particularly items being imported into the U.S.

Now, a Purdue University-affiliated entrepreneur is using her knowledge and experiences in food safety to help smaller companies follow federal regulations when it comes to importing food.

“I have always had a heart for small and medium-sized companies,” said Jennifer Crandall, an alumna from Purdue’s College of Agriculture with more than 20 years of experience in the food safety industry. “I started Safe Food En Route to help these companies meet the guidelines under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP).”

The FSVP final rule, effective in 2016 through the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), requires U.S. importers to verify that the food they are importing into the U.S. has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. food safety standards.

crandall-safefoodJennifer Crandall, an alumna from Purdue’s College of Agriculture, started Safe Food En Route to help companies with food safety regulations. (Image provided)
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“We want to bring corporate-level food safety programs to these smaller businesses and help them meet the requirements,” Crandall said. “We do this by reviewing the policies and procedures in place for foreign suppliers, reviewing third-party audit reports and determining if the importers need to take any other actions to determine if the food is safe prior to importing.”        

Crandall said her team reviews the procedures to ensure that foreign suppliers are managing known foodborne hazards and taking proactive measures to ensure safety for the U.S. consumers.

“During the pandemic, it is just as important that the additional attention being focused on hygienic practices and health issues does not take away from the other work ensuring the safety of our imported food,” Crandall said.

Crandall completed the Firestarter program earlier this year with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. Firestarter is a program to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into businesses. Her startup is now part of the Purdue Foundry’s Double Down Experiment, which includes high-growth businesses.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue’s intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. For more information about setting up a presence at Purdue, possibly in the Purdue Research Park or Discovery Park District, contact the PRF Economic Development Office at parksinfo@prf.org.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Writer: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341, cladam@prf.org 

Jennifer Crandall, jennifer@safefoodenroute.com

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