Brian Kraus from Student to Teacher

By: 
Kristie Denbrock

From the meat industry to ice cream, current student Brian Kraus has built a 30-year career keeping consumers' food safe and enjoyable. Located in Le Mars, Iowa, Brian is the Senior Manager of Food Safety and Regulator Compliance of Wells Enterprises, Inc., Manufacturer of Blue Bunny Ice Cream.

His food safety expertise now includes allergens. “Allergen Control Verification & Validation: Food Safety Plan Preventive Control” is the title of his applied project for the Online Master of Science on Food Safety program at Michigan State University. This work in the area of allergens has gotten him noticed in both the business and academic arenas.  His research is providing his company and the industry with a much needed tool for verification and validation of allergen control while the MSU food safety program offered Brian the opportunity to utilize his project information and data in presenting a training section within the new 1-credit on allergens.

Program Director Dr. Melinda Wilkins said, “Brian did such an excellent job on his graduate project (VM 815) that we invited him to convert his project into teaching material to be used in our new course Current Issues in Food Safety, Topic – Allergens (VM834).  Brian was able to share his direct experience in the food industry to help fellow students understand, create, and validate the sanitation portion of their own Allergen Control Programs.  It is this sharing of applied knowledge and practice that makes our program unique.”

Brian first heard about the Online Master of Science in Food Safety from a colleague. He said, “The program provides applicable food safety knowledge enhancing my position with my company.  I enjoyed learning while achieving a lifelong goal of a Master’s Degree in a field I have thoroughly enjoyed working.“  Brian continued that he enjoyed the depth and breadth of the course materials and appreciated the challenges of each professor. “Achieving a high grade meant that I had accomplished something,” said Brian, “taking the Creating a Food Safety Culture Executive Education on the MSU campus was awesome; to learn from Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety, Walmart, was an opportunity and a privilege.” 

As for his future role in food safety, he said, “I plan to continue my career in food safety building a food safety system here at Well’s to ensure we continue to bring joy to our consumers because of their love of Blue Bunny Ice Cream and hopefully work more with the industry (outside of our company) helping our industry improve their food safety programs.  My plans are to stay involved with The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) which represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and the International Ice Cream Association with a goal to make a difference in dairy food safety.” Brian will graduate with his Master of Science in Food Safety degree in May 2017.