May 24, 2016

AMSA announces that Dr. Scott Eilert, Vice President of Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory for Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats,​ is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Extension-Industry Service Award.  The award was established in 1965 to recognize outstanding achievement in meat science extension and service to the industry and is sponsored by the North American Meat Institute Foundation. Dr. Eilert will be honored at an Awards banquet during the AMSA 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in San Angelo, Texas. 

Dr. Scott Eilert earned his B.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Meat Science from the University of Nebraska in 1992 and 1994 respectively. Under the long tenure of Dr. Mandigo, Scott worked on both basic and applied research into connective tissue chemistry and its application into meat products. During graduate school he began to share his technical knowledge through coaching the meat judging team as well as helping his fellow peers with their research.

In his role at Cargill, Dr. Eilert leads eight different cooked meats and primary processing facilities’ food safety and quality teams. During his industry career, he has had many major technical contributions; to highlight some of the most significant were his contributions in gaining the regulatory approval of the use of Carbon Monoxide in case ready packaging to preserve color, development of fresh meat brines that extend shelf life, and his latest, leading a significant paradigm shift in how the poultry industry and regulatory groups protect public health. Focusing on the concept that “everyone has the right to consume safe food,” Scott championed the concept that zero is not possible or necessary for the control of Salmonella. Using the data and a toxicological approach, he demonstrated that threshold testing was a more appropriate approach to control of Salmonella. These contributions are industry changing and will have lasting impact.

“Scott’s largest contribution to the meat industry has been his constant attention to new talent. Scott continues to seek our new leaders and promote their continued involvement in the meat industry. He has been responsible for many individuals choosing careers in their academia or industry with a focus on meat,” stated Angela Siemens, Cargill.

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