Kwik Trip Adds Food Safety Director

Chain seeking to protect quality of brand

LACROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip Inc. operates a Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved bakery, offering customers fresh Kwikery bakery products. It produces the Nature's Touch brand of dairy products including Milk In A Bag packaging at its own FDA-approved dairy. It also produces many of the private-label products featured in its stores. So an important ingredient in protecting the Kwik Trip brand is an increased emphasis on food safety.

The company's continuing expansion into foodservice, including the construction of a new commissary facility, [image-nocss] has prompted the decision to merge these programs under the direction of a single food safety director.

After an extensive search, involving numerous qualified candidates from leading foodservice companies and regulatory groups, Kwik Trip has selected Jay L. E. Ellingson, Ph.D., as its new food quality and safety director.

Ellingson was involved in the planning process for the new commissary, although his official duties began with the company full time on June 1.

He comes to Kwik Trip with an exceptional educational and professional background. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Sociology from Viterbo University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from Marquette University. After graduation from Marquette, he worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture Research Service in Ames, Iowa, where he was instrumental in the development of important new methods for the diagnosis of disease in dairy cattle. He later served as a staff Molecular Microbiologist with the USDA, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Center for Veterinary Biologics, also in Ames.

Prior to joining Kwik Trip, Ellingson was director of Marshfield Clinic Laboratories-Food Safety Services in Marshfield, Wis. In addition to his director duties, he was also the chief scientific officer for the Marshfield Food Safety LLC, a network of onsite process control laboratories, which he helped establish. These laboratories provide companies like Kwik Trip with reliable real-time test results.

He will continue to maintain a relationship with Marshfield Clinic as he continues his food safety and public health research and development programs. This relationship will allow Kwik Trip to be on the leading edge of food safety and public health initiatives, the company said.

Ellingson is also an adjunct professor in the Microbiology Department of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.

LaCrosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip owns and operates 330 convenience stores under the Kwik Trip and Kwik Star banners in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.