Cargill's Angie Siemens perpetuates the company's commitment to making food safety a top priority.
With more than 700 people across North America dedicated to food safety specifically in its meat and poultry business operations, Wichita-based Cargill Protein’s investment in preventing and detecting vulnerabilities throughout its food supply chain is a continuous 24/7 effort every day of the year. One of the company’s leaders in this segment of Cargill’s business is Angie Siemens, Ph.D., vice president of food safety, quality and regulatory.

Because the meat business has an inherently higher risk profile, Siemens says the passion she and her team bring to making food safety a top priority is integral to the company’s culture.

“We have a commitment to our costumers, to their customers and to their business,” she says, “and the processes and procedures we have in place help us deliver what we have promised.”

Orchestrating the ongoing education and fueling the passion of key people throughout Cargill’s hierarchy is essential to ensuring the success of what happens on the floors of the company’s processing plants. “You have to look at the thought processes of food safety professionals who work cooperatively and absolutely work hand-in-hand with operations,” Siemens says. “Because at the end of the day, food safety is done on the plant floor.”
Cargill has used past challenges as learning lessons to better understand and improve food safety.

Learning lessons

Succeeding in food safety means understanding and looking closely at success stories and what it took in terms of dedicating resources and putting the right people in the right places to ensure that performance is maintained every day.

“We work to ensure we have positive public health outcomes and being able to protect our brands and provide a good value at the same time,” Siemens says, but inevitably, mistakes are made and even the most successful companies find themselves issuing product recalls.

Cargill is no exception to the rule when it comes to food-safety challenges and the company is committed to learning from its mistakes and learning from other companies’ challenges. “We have to learn what part of the process needs to be enhanced; what was missed in the process and make that a part of our continuous learning,” Siemens says.