Ruth L. Petran PhD


Ruth Petran is Vice President, Food Safety and Public Health at Ecolab Inc., a Fortune 500 company that provides cleaning, food safety and health protection products and services to customers in more than 160 countries and employs more than 41,000 associates worldwide.  

In her current role, Ruth provides technical expertise and consultation to internal and external customers on food safety and public health issues, by identifying and tracking emerging food safety trends and new control strategies.  To be most impactful, these span the food supply chain from farm to manufacturing processes and to food service and retail. 

Prior to joining Ecolab, Ruth was a Research Microbiologist and Supplier Quality Manager at Pillsbury, as well as Specifications Manager and Quality Regulations Operations Product Manager at General Mills. She focused on managing safety and quality concerns of microbiologically sensitive products and ingredients. She has led food safety assessments at food manufacturing facilities worldwide, focusing on the application of HACCP systems and regulatory compliance.   

Ruth is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Microbiological Criteria for Foods and the Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force.  She is a member of the International Association for Food Protection and serves on their Committee on Control of Foodborne Illness.  She is also a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists, serving on the Awards Committees, has been active in the IFT-Food Microbiology Division, and is recognized as a Certified Food Scientist. She has advised the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture on needed revisions to the state’s food code.   

Ruth has worked with the Food Products Association (FPA, now GMA), advising on development of the SAFE Supplier Auditing program and is a recognized HACCP instructor in Ecolab’s Advanced HACCP course which is accredited by the International HACCP Alliance.

Ruth has a Bachelor of Science degree in Consumer Food Science from Cornell University, a Master of Science degree in Food Science from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Minnesota.  Her thesis focused on the value of leveraging data from health department inspections to improve food safety.