Petran is senior food safety advisor, The Acheson Group, and founder of Ruth Petran Consulting in Eagan, Minn. She retired in 2020 as RD&E senior corporate scientist and vice president of food safety and public health at Ecolab in Eagan, where she provided technical expertise and risk-based consultation to internal and external customers on food safety and public health issues by identifying and tracking emerging food safety trends and new control strategies. Petran routinely developed food safety messaging for customers and colleagues on a wide variety of topics, such as Ecolab’s scientific materials on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Prior to joining Ecolab, Petran was a research microbiologist and supplier quality manager at Pillsbury, as well as specifications manager and quality regulatory operations manager at General Mills, both in Minnesota. She managed quality and food safety programs while maintaining a liaison to business teams and has led food safety assessments at food manufacturing facilities worldwide, focusing on the application of HACCP systems and regulatory compliance.
As a 35-year IAFP Member, Petran has presented in or led symposia at numerous IAFP Annual Meetings and actively participates in PDGs and on various committees. She received the Fellow Award in 2018, the IAFP Developing Scientist Award in 1987, has served on several award selection committees, and is a founding member of the IAFP Affiliate, the Minnesota Food Protection Association. She served on the Food Protection Trends (FPT) Editorial Board from 2005-2013. She currently serves on IAFP’s Editorial Board for the “Food Microbiology and Food Safety” book series, published by Springer.
Petran holds a bachelor's degree in consumer food science from Cornell University in New York, and a master's degree in food science and doctorate in public health, both from the University of Minnesota.
In addition to Petran, other members of the executive board include:
- President-Elect, Michelle Danyluk, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, Fla.
- Vice President, Jose Emilio Esteban, USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service, Washington, D.C.
- Secretary, Mark Carter, MC Squared, Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Past President, Roger Cook, New Zealand Food Safety, Wellington, New Zealand
- Affiliate Council Chair, Wendy White, Georgia Institute of Technology, Greensboro, Ga.