The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, Stephen Ostroff, will retire Jan. 5 and be replaced by Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety and health for Walmart.
Yiannas, who will join FDA next month, will hold a different role and title than Ostroff. As the deputy commissioner for food policy and response, he will fit within an agency reorganization that includes an Office of Food Policy and Response to focus on food safety.
Ostroff first joined FDA in 2013 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases and focused on food safety and coordinating outbreak responses. At the FDA, he twice served as acting commissioner. Ostroff was instrumental in the rollout of the Food Safety Modernization Act, a sweeping set of regulatory reforms signed into law in 2011 by President Barack Obama.
Yiannas has extensive experience in food safety in the private sector. Before joining Walmart in 2008, he was director of safety and health for Walt Disney World for 19 years. He also is past president of the International Association for Food Protection. At Walmart, Yiannas focused on using blockchain technology to provide supply chain traceability. The retailer recently announced a requirement that all fresh, leafy greens suppliers adopt the technology by September 2019.