Toronto – The Frozen Food Foundation, in conjunction with the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), presents Dr. Craig Hedberg, professor in the division of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota, with the fourteenth annual Frozen Food Foundation Freezing Research Award. Throughout his career, Dr. Hedberg has made several contributions to enhancing foodborne illness surveillance and applying the results to improve food safety. Dr. Hedberg has been a key contributor to many expert panels, including, but not limited to, an American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) panel on current Listeria monocytogenes science.
The award, which recognizes individuals or organizations whose research contributes to the continued enhancement of food quality and safety through freezing, will be presented to Dr. Hedberg at the IAFP 2023 Annual Meeting in Toronto on July 19. IAFP has long presented awards to members of the research community for their work to enhance food safety. The Frozen Food Foundation Freezing Research Award is the only award presented at the IAFP Annual Meeting specifically for frozen food-related research.
Dr. Hedberg has contributed to a range of scientific research regarding the prevalence of pathogens in foods and implications for public health. In 2022 he co-authored research published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology which included a retrospective analysis of the prevalence and levels of L. monocytogenes in different food categories relative to their consumption patterns and attribution to listeriosis incidences. The researchers analyzed the impact of removing food products with varying levels of L. monocytogenes from commerce and demonstrated that establishing an allowable level in food could lead to improved public health outcomes.
“The Frozen Food Foundation is excited to recognize Dr. Hedberg for his significant role in advancing the field of research in foodborne illness and informing risk-based food safety and public health polices,” said Dr. Sanjay Gummalla, executive director of the Frozen Food Foundation. “Dr. Hedberg’s career dedication to foodborne disease surveillance has led to a greater understanding of the epidemiology of listeriosis and improving the safety of frozen foods, that can help advise future policy considerations.”
Dr. Hedberg has held multiple positions within the University of Minnesota School of Public Health since 1999. He also participated as a visiting scientist with the Public Health Agency of France from 2005-2006, where he evaluated the country’s Listeria surveillance systems. Prior to this, he served as a supervisor in the Minnesota Department of Health, where he helped establish surveillance of L. monocytogenes infections. Dr. Hedberg received the President’s Recognition Award from IAFP in 2022, among multiple professional recognitions throughout his career. He holds a Ph.D. in epidemiology and an M.Sc. in environmental health from the University of Minnesota.
About the Frozen Food Foundation
The Frozen Food Foundation exists to foster scientific research, public awareness and industry education regarding the nutritional, safety and societal attributes of frozen foods for the benefit of the common good. The Frozen Food Foundation is affiliated with the American Frozen Food Institute.