NEW ORLEANS, LA – NSF International today announced that it will be presenting at the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) “The Best of Food Thinking 2008” Meeting and Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The event will include over 20,000 food professionals and highlight the newest technologies and best practices in the food science industry.

A leader in food safety and product certification for over 64 years, NSF International will discuss the new Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). GFSI was established to ensure confidence in the delivery of safer food to consumers, while continuing to improve food safety supply chain management.

Who:  Tom Chestnut, Vice President, Food Safety & Quality, at NSF International will give a presentation on the Global Food Safety Initiative as part of a 45 minute press conference. 

When: Monday, June 30th, at 11:00 a.m. CDT.

Where: The press conference will be held at Ernest N. Morial Conference Center located at Placement on map is approximate
900 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130. 
Get Directions – Phone: (504) 582-3000. Media representatives are encouraged to pre-register for this event by registering on the IFT Web Site, or by contacting Brooke Sylvester at 202.330.4981 or

Background on the Speaker

Tom Chestnut oversees NSF’s Supply Chain Food Safety and Quality Programs. He came to NSF from Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones, where he served in several senior level positions including Vice President, Total Quality, Director of Quality Assurance, and International Director of Product Safety and Quality. Before joining Darden, Chestnut worked as the Director of Environmental Health for Coles County Health Department in Charleston, Illinois. He has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) and as a member of the CFP board for six consecutive years.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental health from Illinois State University, with graduate studies in administration and management at the University of Illinois.

Background on the Global Food Safety Initiative

GFSI was launched in May 2000 by CIES – The Food Business Forum, an independent, global food business network in more than 150 countries, with retailers as its largest group. GFSI was a retailer-driven certification program that is now strengthened with the participation of the foodservice sector. Seven major global retailers (Carrefour, Tesco, Metro, Migros, Ahold, Wal-Mart, and Delhaize), along with the NRA, have agreed on common acceptance of the aforementioned four global food safety certifications. Certifications cover food, packaging, consumer goods, storage, and distribution, for primary producers, manufacturers, and distributors. CIES benchmarked the following standards as part of GFSI: Bristish Retail Consortium (BRC), Safe Quality Food (SQF), International Food Standard (IFS) and Dutch HACCP.  NSF International is an accredited provider of third-party audits with expertise in BRC, SQF, IFS, and GlobalGAP, a similar benchmarking program for the produce industry.

The Best of Food Thinking 2008

The IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo ( brings together decision-makers from multiple disciplines involved in food science and technology for scientific education and career development.  Each year, professionals in R&D and other scientific/technical positions, as well as in corporate management, purchasing, consulting, academia, government/regulatory, and technical sales and marketing roles attend the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. They come to exchange information, gain new insights, meet new people, and strengthen existing relationships at the world’s premiere event for advancing the science and business of food.

For more information regarding NSF’s GFSI presentation, please contact Greta Houlahan at or 734.913.5723.


About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods ( Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

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