In this webinar, we will provide an overview of these new root cause analysis guidance documents and walk through each document. 

Join us to learn more about this industry effort, examine the content of these documents and ask questions.

Western Growers © Copyright 2022

REP Strains:
CDC and FDA's Perspective and STEC Investigation Learnings

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
11:00AM - 12:00PM PT

Allison Wellman with the FDA and Michael Vasser with the CDC

This Webinar's Registration
is now closed.

If you have any questions, please email Scott Nichols at

We hope you can join us for our upcoming webinar "Overview of Appendix C: Pre-Harvest Product Sampling and Testing Guidance Intro".

Click here to learn more

Read the WG Webinar Disclaimer

REP Strains: CDC and FDA’s Perspective and STEC Investigation Learnings

The development of whole genome sequencing (WGS) has improved foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak detection. Use of WGS has led to the recognition of some pathogenic strains that cause reoccurring, emerging, or persisting (REP) illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other federal and state partners are tracking several REP strains.

In this webinar, you will hear from FDA and CDC representatives as they share information on REP strain definitions, current knowledge, as well as their perspectives and findings from ongoing REP tracking activities and foodborne outbreak investigations.

You won’t want to miss this exclusive Western Growers member opportunity!

Meet the Speakers

Alison Wellman


Allison Wellman is an Epidemiologist with FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE). As a member of CORE’s Signals and Surveillance Team, she evaluates incoming data focusing on the early detection of foodborne outbreaks related to FDA-regulated foods. She has been involved in numerous outbreak investigations working in collaboration with CDC, FDA offices, state agencies, and international partners. She received her B.S. from Auburn University, and MPH from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Michael Vasser
Epidemiologist/REPs Coordinator 


Michael Vasser is an epidemiologist and REPs coordinator with the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch at CDC.  He obtained his B.S. in Public Health from the University of California, Irvine, and his MPH from the University of Southern California. Prior to CDC, Michael worked as an Epidemiology Analyst for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducting surveillance on enteric pathogens and investigating local-level foodborne outbreaks.

Content Overview:

This presentation will focus on the following: 

Afreen Malik
Science Programs Director 

Western Growers

Afreen Malik brings over two decades of experience in the management of food safety, quality assurance and sustainability programs at top food and agriculture companies. As Science Programs Director, Afreen is responsible for designing, developing and deploying programs in support of key Western Growers Science initiatives in food safety, environmental compliance and data science. 

Prior to joining Western Growers in April 2021, Afreen served as Director of Technical Services at International Food Safety and Quality Services, a consulting firm that helps companies produce safe foods.

Dr. Jennifer McEntire
SVP Food Safety and Technology 

United Fresh Produce Association

Dr. Jennifer McEntire is the SVP, Food Safety & Technology at United Fresh Produce Association, where she has served the industry for the past 5 years. After receiving her degrees in food science from the University of Delaware and Rutgers University, she landed in Washington, D.C., where she’s held various food safety roles at various associations and companies over the past 20 years.