The National Restaurant Association, with support from Ecolab, recently named Jorge Hernandez, vice president of Quality Assurance at The Wendy’s Company®, as the first Outstanding Food Safety Leader Award recipient. The announcement was made during the Food Safety and Quality Assurance Executive Study Group conference in Orlando, Florida. 
 
The award, presented in partnership with Ecolab, a global leader in food safety solutions and expertise, recognizes an individual’s dedication to food safety through personal and career accomplishments such as improving food safety systems or processes, introducing innovations to manage food supplies or food service operations, or mentoring other food service professionals.                                                 
L.-R.: Bob Sherwood, executive vice president, global institutional food safety & public health, Ecolab; Jorge Hernandez, vice president, quality assurance, The Wendy’s Company; Jean Edsall, director food safety programs, Compass Group North America; and Mark “Mick” Miklos, director, food safety and quality assurance programming, National Restaurant Association.
 
“Food safety professionals are often the unsung heroes of the restaurant industry,” said Mark S. Miklos, program director for member engagement for the Association. “With this award, we have the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and integrity these individuals put into their protection of the industry every day.” 
 
Hernandez has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, working across the supply chain and in regulatory positions. In his current role, he is responsible for overall food safety, quality, and regulatory compliance across Wendy’s restaurants in more than 30 countries.
 
“In my opinion, recognition by your own peers of what you do is probably one of the highest honors you can ever have, it takes my breath away,” said Hernandez. “In this field, you’re trying to prevent people from getting sick. You’re saving those people all that sorrow, all that pain. I can affect 250,000 people on a daily basis. It’s a great responsibility, but it’s also a great reward to know that what you’re doing is affecting that many people.”
 
A panel selected by the National Restaurant Association Food Safety and Quality Assurance Executive Study Group Steering Committee evaluated the award nominations to select a winner. 
 
“Jorge has long been a champion for food safety excellence,” said Bob Sherwood, executive vice president of Global Institutional Food Safety and Public Health for Ecolab. “Jorge’s Outstanding Food Safety Leader Award is well-deserved, and we congratulate him on this recognition. Ecolab is proud to sponsor this food safety award recognizing individuals that deliver food safety excellence for our industry.”
 
For more information about the Association Executive Study Groups, go to restaurant.org/Events/Councils-Study-Groups.
 
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About the National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.3 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show May 16-19, 2020, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.
 
About Ecolab
A trusted partner at nearly three million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With annual sales of $15 billion and 49,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. www.ecolab.com 
 

Contact: Vanessa Sink (202) 331-5900