FoodGrads Podcast Episode 67: Building Leadership and Community within Food Safety with Melody Ge, FSQA Director at StarKist Co. and Founder of the Women in Food Safety Group

On episode 67 of the FoodGrads we interviewed Melody Ge, FSQA Director at StarKist Co., and Founder of the Women in Food Safety Group. StarKist Co. is a leading producer, distributor and marketers of seafood products in the United States while Women in Food Safety Safety is a professional group comprised of outstanding female leadership, food safety professionals and students who are passionate about this field. The goal is to provide a community and networking platform for the industry to share their stories and experiences, help young professionals, and grow together.

On this episode Melody and Veronica had a lot of fun talking about her career journey and why she decided to pursue a career in food safety and quality. Melody actually has had past experience working in research and development but ultimately decided to move into food safety because she loves how it is a role that helps people. Additionally, they talked about Melody’s experiences with mentorship and and the group Women in Food Safety and how they are supporting young professions.

Though they talked about so much more than that and if you are looking for a reason to get excited about food safety then you need to check out this episode. Melody’s excitement for food safety is contagious.

Show Notes


[3:00] What Melody does as head of Food Safety and Quality at Starkist

[4:00] Melody’s career journey

[9:50] Talking about how food safety can be taken for granted

[12:45] Aspects of food safety that Melody enjoys

[16:34] Dealing with “conflicts” in food safety

[21:45] How those new to a role in food safety should conduct themselves

[24:19] Mentorship and mentors that Melody has had

[25:12] How to have mentors in “unconventional” ways

[34:34] How can a new graduate entering the food safety field advocate for themselves and their career advancement?

[38:00] Skills that are important in food safety

[46:15] What is a “good” food safety culture

Melody Ge LinkedIn

StarKist Co.

Women in Food Safety

The Breadcrumbs that Lead to Success


For food safety, if you are the person interested there is excitement every day. Cause every day you come in and by the end of the day you have solved a problem.

– Melody Ge

[Talking about food safety teams] I would like to see be seen as an influencer. We are trying to influence people to do the right thing. If we [are] standing in our audience shoes, [we ask ourselves] why they look at differently or is it because they don’t understand? Why? Or is it because they have a different priority, or is it because they, their KPI is different as a food safety team?

– Melody Ge

You pick on their strength to make it work for you. A strong mentorship which works for me, might not work for you. That’s a lot of time when people come to me, ask questions. I always make sure that I say, “What’s worked for me, it might be just in that timing or it’s my personality, or it’s my company, but you gotta figure out the way that works for you.

– Melody Ge

Try different when you are young and when you [are] first out of school with all the knowledge are fresh, try different roles and then see what you like. When I get more and more into the industry I realized doing something you like is crucial, it is important. And then you don’t feel like you are working.

You’re enjoying your work every day. You do work eight hours per day. So you gotta love it. And then once you like it, you do it well. However, in reality understanding not everyone will find likable positions in the first place. So I would, I would suggest them to try different things.

– Melody Ge

Well you can consider those also as a sparkle in your day cause with food safety… You’ll think it’s a normal Tuesday but then you never know things just happened. This thing or there’s a consumer complaint or there’s a test results is not good but those are little circles. It light up your day, it less boring, right?

– Melody Ge

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