R. Bruce Tompkin
VP Product Safety (retired),
ConAgra Refrigerated Prepared Foods
Dr. Tompkin received his Ph.D. in microbiology from Ohio State University and started working in the industry with Swift & Co. in 1964. He became Chief Microbiologist in 1966, and then VP Product Safety for ConAgra Refrigerated Foods in 1993. He and his colleagues investigated how to control pathogens in a wide variety of foods and food-processing environments, new processing technologies, the use of additives to improve food safety, and the role of nitrite for controlling Clostridium botulinum. In 1987, his focus shifted toward developing and managing a Listeria-control program as the company grew to more than 200 packaging lines for ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products in more than 25 plants. Dr. Tompkin retired from ConAgra in 2002, but he continued to assist others as a consultant for more than 10 years. Throughout his career, he shared best practices for pathogen control with industry, government and academia, both nationally and internationally.