Dr. Ewen C.D. Todd

Born, Glasgow, Scotland, December 25th, 1939.

Dr. Todd attended the University of Glasgow as a student and staff member from 1958 to 1968. He was an assistant lecturer in the Department of Bacteriology from 1965 to 1968. There he taught courses and ran laboratories for students in the B.Sc. Bacteriology program.

Work Experience:

Health Canada:


After receiving his Ph.D. from the Medical Faculty, he immigrated to Canada in 1968 and joined the Health Protection Branch (then, the Food and Drug Directorate), Health Canada, as a Research Scientist. He initially conducted research into the health risks of barbecued food, and worked with the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association to develop a Sanitation Code for the Food Service Industry. He has been involved with the reporting and surveillance of foodborne disease since 1973, costed outbreaks in Canada and other countries since 1985, and been concerned with increasing numbers of illnesses associated with seafood toxins. As a result of his work with the industry and his knowledge of foodborne disease, he gave talks to public health departments across Canada trying to improve the existing foodborne disease surveillance program. He also has been encouraging foodborne disease prevention and control strategies by promoting Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems, educating the public, and developing risk assessments for raw meat, eggs and fish. All these have influenced research programs and regulatory approaches taken by the Health Protection Branch, Health Canada. He is recognized internationally for his work on foodborne disease and its surveillance and costs, developing microbial risk assessments, the impact of seafood toxins on disease, and detection of pathogens in foods. In non-research areas, he has responded to telephone calls and written requests from the public, the press, and public health and agriculture agencies for information on food and waterborne disease. Dr. Todd worked with a group from the Canadian Public Health Inspectors association to promote the development of a video program on the dangers of foodborne disease for school children, and he has been on the Advisory Council of the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association. He has participated in several legal actions acting as an expert witness.

He has acted as Chief of the Research Division and Director of the Bureau of Microbial Hazards on occasions. As Head, Contaminated Foods Section, he was responsible for the collection and publication of foodborne and waterborne disease in Canada, for ensuring that his staff conducted appropriate research on Salmonella, E. coli O157, seafood toxins and foodborne parasites, and that the public received proper and consistent information on the magnitude and control of foodborne diseases. He has reached the highest possible level for Research Scientists in the government (SE-RES-5), based on the excellence of his research and its relevance to the Branch’s programs. As a senior scientist, he participated in the Strategic Planning Group for the Food Program, selected by the Bureau to best represent the interests of the Bureau of Microbial Hazards, and was part of a team to recommend more emphasis on foodborne, waterborne and enteric surveillance in Canada. He also carried on the work of the Inter-agency Working Group on Food Safety Research to avoid duplication in research projects. He was a member of the Interdepartmental Strategic Threat Advisory Group that is in place in case of an emergency terrorist threat of an attack. He participated over the last two years in the Classification and Compression Working Group of the Treasury Board Framework for Human Resources to improve management of science and technology in the federal government, for which he received a Distinctive Service award. He is the Chairman of the Foodborne Disease Reporting Centre and Co-chairman of the Botulism Reference Centre. He was an Official Analyst, and a Health Protection Branch spokesperson for foodborne disease, Salmonella and verotoxigenic E. coli. He was an active member of several committees including the Working Group on Risk Analysis in the Food Directorate. He has worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop model HACCP plans for 30 products. He represented the interest of all government research scientists by being the Chairperson of the SE-RES Group Executive of the Professional Institute of the Public Service in Canada, the scientists’ bargaining agent. He was officially bilingual (English and French) at the standard level. As a senior scientist, he was also on the Food Directorate Promotions Committee.

Since 1977, 20 appointments and awards, participation on 14 international, 6 national, 9 interdepartmental, and 24 departmental committees. He was the recipient of the Excellence in Science Award for 1998, the first to be awarded by Health Canada, and the Deputy Minister’s Award of Team Excellence in 1999 for the work done in promoting the Fight BAC! Campaign in Canada. In 2000, he received a Public Service of Canada award for the Fight BAC! Food Safety Team. In 2001, he was elected Fellow of the International Association for Food Protection and awarded the Professional Institute of the Public Service in Canada’s 2001 Gold Medal in Pure or Applied Science. In 2006, he became a University Outreach and Engagement Senior Fellow at Michigan State


Michigan State University

In 2000, Dr. Todd was offered a position at Michigan State University as the Director of the National Food Safety and Toxicology Center. As the director, he developed and coordinated research initiatives, created a positive public image for the Center as a source of science-based information on food safety issues, and in conjunction with department chairs, he was responsible for the recruitment, development and evaluation of faculty appointed to the Center. He established a Faculty Advisory Committee to advise the Director on faculty issues including NFSTC By-Laws, Faculty Evaluation Committee for promotion and tenure, and a Faculty Space Committee for recommending space assignments and moves in the NFST Building. In addition, he is generated multidisciplinary collaborations within and beyond the university.

In 2014 he spent a year at the American University of Beirut teaching and doing research on food safety.

Summary of Scientific Accomplishments:


223 research papers, reviews, book chapters and booklets, and 40 departmental publications (including 19 annual summaries of food and waterborne disease in Canada from 1973-1993), 37 conference proceedings, 9 laboratory methods, 56 investigational and editorial articles published in Canada Communicable Diseases Reports and 90 published abstracts, and 3 editing of proceedings or books.


Over 400 presentations and posters at national and international meetings, with over 200 invitations to speak, and conducting of 7 workshops.



He is an active member of the International Association for Food Protection (formerly the International Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians), being on three committees, organizing symposia, speaking at annual meetings, and reviewer of manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Food Protection. As a member of one of these committees, the Committee on Communicable Diseases Affecting Man, he has helped design and write four internationally-recognized manuals on how to investigate foodborne disease, waterborne disease and rodent-borne and arthropod-borne disease, and how to implement HACCP. He has been consulted by UN agencies, such as 1) WHO in setting up the WHO Surveillance Programme for Control of Foodborne Infections and Intoxications in Europe, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, (1977); WHO Consultation on Emerging Pathogens, Berlin (1995); WHO Consultation on Costs and Preharvest Treatment of Animals, Washington, D.C. (1995); WHO Consultation on Prevention and Control of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) Infections, Geneva (1997); he was in Cambodia and China on a WHO consultation concerning assessment of existing foodborne and waterborne disease surveillance and control systems, and recommending improved versions of these to be used nationally and locally; (November and December, 1997). 2) IAEA on Cost-Benefit Aspects of Food Irradiation Processing, Aix-en-Provence, France (1993); and 3) PAHO Ciguatera control in the Dominican Republic (1987), PAHO Consultation on Foodborne Disease Surveillance, Washington, D.C. (1999) and Risk Assessment Symposium, INPPAZ, Buenos Aires (2000). He was also on a Working Group on New and Resurgent Disease organized by the Harvard Medical School to consider climate change and disease events in the marine environment with a 3 year NOAA grant (now a part of Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions [HEED] Global Change) (1995-99). In addition, he has taken leadership and conflict resolution courses. He was appointed by the Science Advisory Board with other science experts in food safety to review (Chaired by O. Fennema) and make recommendations on the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition program following a meeting in April, 1999.

Other Interests and Achievements:


In non-scientific areas he has also demonstrated leadership and ability to work well with people by being the Chair of the Union (Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada) group responsible of the federal government research scientists (1992-99) [also Treasurer from 1989-91, and Group Executive member from 1975 to the present], the Chair of the Research Table Bargaining Team, 1997, Chair of the newly formed Research Group consisting of research scientists, defense scientists, mathematicians, and historical researchers, the President of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club (1974-75) [also convenors of 2 committees in the Club, botanical expert and specific interest in conservation practices], receiver of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club Conservation Award in 1999, the President of Citizens for Safe Cycling (1988-92) [advocacy group, also founding member and Chair of one committee], Elder (1972-99) and Administrative Clerk of Session (1995-99) of historic St. Andrew's Church, Ottawa [also convenors of 6 committees within the Church and its higher body, the Presbytery; Sunday school teacher, bible study leader, Alpha course leader and choir member].

He has many research and contract  connections around the world. These include Korea, Japan, China, Philippines; Lebanon, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait; Europe, as well as Canada and USA. He is active in editing manuscripts, writing papers, organizing symposia, and giving talks. In 2012 he was in Japan helping the government decide on standards for Listeria monocytogenes, in Guelph, Ontario to give a keynote speech on career in food safety, in Chicago to discuss improved hand hygiene practices with a sanitizing company; in Washington to receive the NSF International Lifetime Achievement Award.