U.S – Shortly after stepping down from his role as the Deputy Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Frank Yiannas has joined Chipotle Mexican Grill’s (NYSE: CMG) Food Safety Advisory Council.

Yiannas will join a team of independent specialists hired by Chipotle to make sure their food safety standards advance and become industry best practices.

“I’m delighted to join and collaborate with some of the nation’s foremost food safety authorities and serve on Chipotle’s Food Safety Advisory Council. 

“I look forward to lending my experience to a company committed to ‘cultivating a better world’ that benefits people and the planet,” he expressed.

Chipotle is an American chain of fast-casual restaurants specializing in bowls, tacos, and Mission burritos made to order in front of the customer.

With nearly 3,200 restaurants as of December 31, 2022, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, it is ranked on the Fortune 500 and is recognized on the 2023 list for Fortune’s Most Admired Companies.

According to the company, it is dedicated to achieving the highest standard of excellence in food safety for both its customers and employees.

Chipotle launched the Food Safety Advisory Council in 2016, in its pursuit of continuous improvement and performance excellence, to support the company’s internal food safety team and bring together the greatest ideas from both inside and outside the organization.

The Council currently comprises Dr. Hal King, Ph.D., former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Research Scientist and Director of Food Safety with Chick-fil-A; Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, M.D., former United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Food Safety; and Dr. James Marsden, Ph. D., former Head of Food Safety at Chipotle and renowned professor.

“In order to make sure our food safety culture and programs are as robust as possible, it’s critical to supplement our internal expertise with independent external guidance.

“Frank’s vast experience with the FDA and other large brands will help guarantee Chipotle’s food safety standards continue to be best-in-class,” said Kerry Bridges, Vice President of Food Safety at Chipotle.

In addition to creating efficient food safety management systems based on contemporary, science-based, and technologically enabled preventative principles, Yiannas has received recognition for his work in reinforcing food safety standards in new and novel ways throughout his career.

After spending 30 years in executive positions with Walmart and the Walt Disney Company, he most recently worked under two administrations as the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the FDA, a position he held from 2018 until 2023.

Yiannas recently resigned from the agency citing his concern that the decentralized structure of the foods program significantly impaired the FDA’s ability to operate as an integrated food team and protect the public.

He has since testified before Congress on the Administration’s role in the newborn formula shortage that engulfed the US (as well as other nations) last year.

Moreover, he just launched his own website dubbed “Smatter FY Solutions” to leverage his vast experience and balcony-level view on the food system and implementing innovative, smarter, and proven approaches to tackling some of the most pressing food safety and food supply chain challenges.

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