For Joe Stout, sanitation is a highly personal calling that involves protecting families, companies and one another. He believes it’s often underestimated and unappreciated, and it’s been his cause to change the culture of the food industry before businesses have to take a “corrective action” and learn by their mistakes.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence,” he likes to say. If Mr. Stout sounded like a coach, it’s because he was quoting one of the best: Vince Lombardi. “Sanitation is a team sport,” he noted during a recent seminar. “This is an industry effort.”
A contributing editor to Baking & Snack, Mr. Stout is now president of Commercial Food Sanitation, a company he founded after retiring from Kraft Foods five years ago and is now owned by Intralox. The company also runs the Food Sanitation Institute, which holds training seminars to develop the skills of sanitation professionals and operates under the premise that sanitation is a business as well as an integral bridge to food safety.When many people retire, they kick back, play golf and enjoy those hobbies they never had time for when they were working. For Mr. Stout, retirement has been a chance to launch a second career and pursue a cause that he believes will benefit the food industry as a whole.