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A food vendor is offering diverse nutritious vegetables to rural household consumers at a market center in Faridpur, Bangladesh.
Photo Credit: Samiul Ahsan/Abt Associates

The fifth annual World Food Safety Day on June 7th focused on the ways “Food Standards Save Lives”— governments and the food industry use food safety strategies, standards, and regulations to guide food safety legislation and ensure best practices. Raising awareness of and promoting the adoption and enforcement of food safety standards requires government agencies to collaborate closely. On behalf of the U.S. Government Global Nutrition Coordination Plan Food Safety Subgroup, USAID Advancing Nutrition hosted this webinar on the importance of interagency collaboration in increasing access to safe and nutritious foods through strategies, standards, and regulations.

During the webinar, Mary Ensch of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service discussed the recent African Union Food Safety Strategy, and Fazila Shakir of FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition shared recent updates on their collaboration with FAO/WHO on the Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code.” Lastly, Regan Plekenpol of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic shared insights into food safety policies and regulations surrounding food donation, which have implications for minimizing food loss and waste.

Webinar Recording

Webinar Resources


  • Lee Gross (moderator) is a senior advisor in the Trade and Regulatory Capacity Building Division of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. His division oversees capacity building projects that help U.S. trading partners understand and implement science-based international sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) and practices. He has 20 years of experience developing and leading impactful public-private partnerships in the areas of agriculture, environment, policy, and trade with a range of partners, from multilateral institutions to farmers groups, and governments in more than 30 countries. 
  • Kelley Cormier is the food safety division chief in the Center for Nutrition within USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. She oversees a portfolio that supports the U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy and USAID's Multisectoral Nutrition Strategy. Kelley has also worked as an agricultural economist and division chief for Inclusive Market Development in the USAID Bureau for Food Security. Prior, she managed SPS programs for USDA and led research on agricultural markets. 
  • Fazila K. Shakir is the director for the Regulatory Cooperation & Partnerships Staff in the Office of International Engagement at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the Food and Drug Administration. She oversees new and existing international partnerships for all CFSAN interest areas, such as food safety and nutrition, including partnerships with FAO, WHO, USAID, and also manages the Systems Recognition and Codex programs. Previously, Fazila was a senior regulatory health advisor in the Office of Food Safety at CFSAN.  In this role, she led the development of policies, regulations, and implementation plans related to the safety of fresh produce under FSMA. Prior to joining CFSAN, she worked in international health and was involved in the implementation and evaluation of USAID-funded public health programs related to infectious diseases in Latin America and Africa. 
  • Regan Plekenpol is a program coordinator at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. Regan focuses on international and domestic food waste mitigation and food donation policy. She is passionate about the intersection of food systems and the environment, with a keen interest in improving access to nutritious and sustainable food sources. She is also a NBME-certified health and wellness coach, specializing in functional integrative nutrition.
  • Mary Ensch is a senior program manager in the Trade and Regulatory Capacity Division at USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Her division oversees capacity building projects that help U.S. trading partners understand and implement science-based international SPS standards and practices globally to improve agricultural trade and food security. Mary leads the division’s food safety initiatives in Africa, partnering with the African Union on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and with the African Regional Economic Communities to harmonize and implement SPS policies and measures across countries. Over the last 12 years at FAS, she has developed and led a global portfolio of agricultural projects across six continents collaborating with a range of stakeholders from governments and multilateral institutions to farmers’ groups focusing on food safety and nutrition, agricultural statistics, agricultural extension, trade, and climate-smart agriculture.