Billie Johnson, Ph.D.


Food safety and regulatory compliance manager



Billie Johnson Ph.D., will describe differences and similarities in regulatory, customer, sustainability management information systems and the Global Food Safety Initiative audits during the “Pet food regulatory and safety innovations” concurrent session on Tuesday, May 2 at 1:30-2:00 pm. Register here

Learn more about Johnson’s presentation below:

What is the single, most important concept or piece of information you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?

Johnson: Numerous audits occur for pet food ingredients and manufacturers. The audit “bar” continues to raise, and many regulatory and third party or customer audits drive from the same overall requirements.

Please explain the significance of this concept or information to the pet food industry and your organization:

Johnson: Over the years, audits have continued to intensify, with significance being placed on quality, food safety, sustainability and the environment. This will continue as the global perspective grows for pet food integrity. For our organization, there is no difference. All components of the pet food industry rely on each other and ensuring customer satisfaction.

What are potential next developments or stages in this specific field? Where do you hope future development or research takes it, or how you plan to progress it?

Johnson: Work has been ongoing to ensure “full compatibility” of the audit process, meaning a synchronized system for conducting audits, with updates made periodically, so that all companies (ingredient manufacturers and pet food alike) are being “tested” against the same standards. Great strides have been made to ensure what is a “necessary” component of food safety/quality/sustainability versus what is “nice to have.”

What pets rule your household?

Johnson: I have three boxers. Anyone that owns boxers knows they are very loving babies…hyperactive fools! Beauregard is the oldest while Smokey and Bandit are full blood brothers that I call the twins and they share my enthusiastic nature!

Presentation description:

Audit processes in pet food: Regulatory, customer, sustainability, GFSI — Johnson describes differences and similarities in regulatory, customer, sustainability management information systems and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) audits. She discusses each audit type in terms of what is typically requested and how the audit “bar” is being raised each time a new standard is published, as well as how these audits are being used in both the ingredient and pet food manufacturing environments.


Johnson has a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma. As the food safety and regulatory compliance manager for BHJ North America, a pet food ingredient manufacturer, she oversees nine plants in the U.S. and Canada. Previously, Johnson was with Menu Foods/Simmons Pet Food for 19 years overseeing food safety programs for five pet food manufacturing locations. She has also worked as a food safety/quality/regulatory independent advisor. Johnson has extensive knowledge in internal auditing, GFSI certified audits, HACCP/preventive controls development and maintenance of supplier approval programs including supplier auditing and development of raw material in-process food safety testing protocols. She has been involved with the editorial team for the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance group responsible for creating the FDA approved curriculum for the “Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals, Final Rule” and is a lead instructor for PCQI implementation for animal foods.