• Pizza Hut, other Yum brands get 'health officer'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Yum Brands Inc., which operates Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver's and A&W All American Food, named Al Baroudi its chief scientific, health and regulatory affairs officer on July 24.

He will oversee development of programs for scientific and regulatory trade for all Yum brands, implement health and nutrition programs and the company's animal welfare initiatives.

The move likely is a response to obesity-related lawsuits likely to hit large fast-food providers. (See related stories "Stop frivolous obesity lawsuits before they start," "Ky. senator proposes bill preventing obesity lawsuits," and "Gallup poll finds public against obesity lawsuits.")

The 55-year-old Baroudi has 30 years experience in research and development, food safety, quality assurance and microbiology. He founded the Food Safety Institute International, where he directed food research and development as well as quality-assurance programs for corporations and government agencies.

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