Ep. 031 – Food Safety Auditing with Tiffany Lau, Retail Food Safety Auditor for the NSF

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I’m so happy to introduce Tiffany Lau, a friend I knew from Cal Poly.
We actually graduated together, and from time to time, we catch up. Though before this interview, it’s been a while.

Anyways, very excited to have Tiffany on the show because she has experience with a very important, but not really well talked about part of the industry.

She is the first guest to focuses on a very important part of the industry: food safety.

Working as an Auditor for the NSF, she goes and does audits for retail food stores. This mainly involves correcting and teaching workers about food safety habits.

If you’re interested in learning about audits, this is really for you. You’ll learn a ton of things such as what tests to take, what it’s like to work at home, and why this job might resonate with you.

This is also a pretty nice interview if you’re interested in sales

Let’s begin

About Tiffany Lau

Tiffany is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science. She currently works as a food safety auditor at NSF International. Prior to NSF, she has interned for Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream in their Research and Development department (where she ate a lot of ice cream!) and began her career at Safeway in food manufacturing. She quickly learned that R&D and manufacturing were not her fields of interest. She took a leap of faith and quit her first job to pursue other job opportunities that did interest her- food safety. After a few months of fretting (did she make the right decision?), she landed a job role that fuels her passion in the food industry- food safety. When she is not working, Tiffany enjoys baking and decorating cakes which is ultimately how she became interested in Food Science.

Key Takeaways

  • The difference between a health inspector and 3rd Party Auditing
  • Why a Food Safety position might be for you
  • Retail Safety versus Manufacturing Safety
  • Pros and cons of being Home-based
  • The payoff for being a food safety auditor


Most common problem in audits: There is no one specific problem
Why Does Your Food Job Rocks:
It feels like I can help people
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?: I want to try Regulatory. Quality, Food Safety, or Regulatory
What do you look for most in a job?: A job should make you happy
Food Trends and Technology: Rolled ice cream
Biggest Challenge to Food Industry needs to face: Food Labeling
Who Inspired you to Get into food: Alton Brown, my mom
Favorite Kitchen Equipment: Kitchen Aid
Favorite Food: Korean Food – buckwheat in cold broth
Advice: If you’re studying to be an auditor: focus on microbiology and food safety
Deleting your goal or purpose on your resume
People Skills, interacting with clients, make them not afraid of you
When looking into the future: ask if this is right for you
Something inspiring: “Lucky Breaks don’t happen, they’ll only happen when you find something you love”

What We Talk About (Links)

3rd Party Food Safety Auditor
Unannounced Audits
Explaining food safety aspects
Recruiting via linkedin
CPFS Certified Professional Food Safety Credential
Bad bug chart (coming next year)
Food Defense
626 Night Market
Korean fried chicken
Koreatown – Kyochan Chicken- best Korean fried chicken
Taylor Swift Song (Haters gonna hate)
Smart Label Initiative
French Macarons
Macarons vs Macaroons
REHS – Registered Environmental health specialist

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