Chiquita Brands International Inc. has a new vice president of food safety and quality, Courtney Parker.

Parker will oversee Chiquita’s Fresh Express packaged salad quality assurance and control programs and have global responsibility as the Chiquita’s primary liaison to regulatory agencies and other industry entities, according to a company news release.

Brian Kocher, chief operating officer for Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita, said in the release that Parker’s operational experience and scientific background provide her a good perspective to execute the company’s commitment to food safety and quality.

Earlier in her career Parker worked for Chiquita for more than seven years with Chiquita/Fresh Express as a senior food safety and microbiology manager. In that job she helped develop and implement quality policies and regulatory compliance programs.

Most recently Parker was head of quality assurance, food safety and regulatory affairs for Church Bros. and its processing operation True Leaf Farms, Salinas, Calif.

Chiquita names new food safety VPShe also was senior scientific adviser to Gills Onions, Oxnard, Calif., where she provided strategic assistance and technical guidance for its quality, food safety and sanitary standards.

Parker has served on a number of technical and strategic industry committees for industry groups including California Leafy Greens Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association and the International Association of Food Protection.

She earned her doctorate in microbiology from the University of California-Davis, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the U.S, Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.