John Butts, vice president of research for Land O’Frost Inc., Munster, Ind., won the 2016 Food Safety Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement from NSF International Inc. Butts was selected for his role as a food safety advocate and food processing scientist with more than 40 years of experience creating innovative food protection solutions.
“We are incredibly proud to have had Dr. John Butts as a member of the Land O’Frost family for many years and we have benefited greatly from his wisdom, passion and deep commitment to innovation,” said David Van Eekeren, president and CEO. “His impact on the greater food industry, including his work to champion the policy of sharing best practices across companies, cannot be overstated. It is truly fitting that he be honored with this award.”
The NSF Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes leaders within the food industry who have made significant contributions to advancing food safety. Dr. Butts and other 2016 NSF Food Safety Leadership Award winners were honored at an awards ceremony at the 2016 Food Safety Summit May 10-12 in Rosemont, Ill.
Under Butts’ leadership, Land O’Frost has maintained the highest levels of food safety. He commissioned the team that developed Land O’Frost’s “Seek & Destroy” (S&D) process to identify and control Listeria monocytogenes growth niches, which has since been adopted across the meat industry in partnership with the North American Meat Institute. He also introduced technologies to minimize transfer within high-risk areas and implemented Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points well before they became mandated by the USDA.
Butts’ influence stretched beyond Land O’Frost. He helped many other food companies integrate scientific principles and food technology in real-world manufacturing settings to enhance food safety, assure product quality and deliver efficient solutions.