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K-State food science alumnus honored

John N. Butts was named the 2016 Food Safety Leadership Award recipient for lifetime achievement from NSF International Inc.

John ButtsPhoto and caption available

Released: July 7, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. – John N. Butts, Land O’Frost Inc.’s vice president of research, was presented the 2016 NSF International Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremony at the 2016 Food Safety Summit May 10-12 in Rosemont, Illinois.

The award recognizes leaders within the food industry who have made significant contributions to advancing food safety. Butts is a food safety advocate and food processing scientist with more than 40 years of experience creating innovative food protection solutions.

“I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food science at Kansas State University, and I could not be more proud to be an alumnus,” Butts said. “Reflecting on those years, I can see that they were a turning point in my growth, both personally and professionally. I met a truly dedicated group of professional educators and researchers who provided a strong foundation for my career in meat science and food safety. I went to K-State as a green farm boy and left with a career and a lifelong vision.”

Butts commissioned the team that developed Land O’Frost’s “Seek & Destroy” (S&D) process to identify and control Listeria monocytogenes growth niches, which has since been adopted across the meat industry in partnership with the North American Meat Institute. He also introduced technologies to minimize transfer within high-risk areas and implemented Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) well before they became mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

His influence has stretched beyond Land O’Frost. He has helped other food companies integrate scientific principles and food technology in real-world manufacturing settings to enhance food safety, assure product quality and deliver efficient solutions. In 2010, Butts established Food Safety By Design LLC, a private consulting firm that aims to help producers of high risk products learn how to prevent and manage food safety risks.

NSF International Inc. is a global certifier of Global Food Safety Initiatives in  agriculture, processing, food equipment, restaurant and retail industries.


The Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry department serves students, livestock producers and the animal and food industries through teaching, research and education. The K-State ASI department prepares students for careers in the animal and food industries. The curriculum includes the study of nutrition, reproduction, genetics, behavior, meat science, food science with production, management, and agribusiness skills. For more about the K-State’s ASI department visit Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry department.


K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well‑being of Kansans.  Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.

K-State Research and Extension

For more information:
Angie Stump Denton
Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences & Industry, Communication Coordinator
angiedenton@ksu.edu or 785-562-6197