Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship:

A partnership between Stop Foodborne Illness + Michigan State University


Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship
Applications are available through March 31, 2021

↑Click above for an application.↑

About the Online Food Safety Certificate

The Fellowship includes tuition support (paid by STOP) to complete a 12-credit, Graduate Food Safety Certificate with MSU. The certificate includes three required courses:

  • VM 811 Evolution + Ecology of Foodborne Pathogens
  • VM 812 Food Safety Toxicology
  • VM 831 Food Safety Epidemiology
  • VM 826: Creating a Food Safety Culture (elective)

Fellows live and work in Chicago, IL
with Stop Foodborne Illness
(with an option to work remotely)
complete a 12-credit
Online Food Safety Certificate
with Michigan State University.

  Dave Theno was a man of action ...

He was passionate about what it really meant to keep food safe.

It was about family.

A friendship with Roni Rudolph, one of the founders of Stop Foodborne Illness who lost a child to E. coli O157:H7, profoundly influenced Dave to keep a photograph of her daughter, Lauren Beth, in his wallet throughout his career to remind him of the devastation wrought by foodborne pathogens. As a result, he worked tirelessly to create a culture of food safety.

Dave was hired as senior vice president and chief food safety officer for Jack in the Box in 1993, as the San Diego-based fast food chain was reeling from a massive and deadly outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. Four deaths, including Lauren Beth’s, and hundreds of illnesses were blamed on the burger chain that some said would not survive.

Top management made an early decision to give Theno complete authority over food safety. He implemented a comprehensive Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan and then required a finished product testing protocol, test and hold, that initially irked others in the meat industry before it was almost universally adopted. Theno remained with Jack in the Box for almost 16 years.

Theno earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and science journalism from Iowa State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in food microbiology and animal sciences from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Dave Theno’s leadership in responding to the 1993 outbreak and challenge of E. coli O157:H7 has been recognized by numerous scientific and industry organizations. At the time of his death, Dave Theno was CEO of Gray Dog Partners Inc., a food safety consulting business.

Dave Theno
Dave Theno 1950 - 2017
Dave spends time with Boots at sunset with the Lana’i Cat Sanctuary, Hawaii
Dave spends time with Boots at sunset with the Lana’i Cat Sanctuary, Hawaii
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