Sara Gaines advises domestic and international clients regarding global compliance with food additive and food packaging regulations, focusing on the United States (U.S.), the European Union (EU), South America (MERCOSUR), China, and Japan. In addition to her work assisting individual clients regarding requirements for food contact materials, Sara works with trade associations to monitor emerging issues facing the packaging industry globally and domestically at both the state and federal levels. Through engagement with government representatives and public interest groups, she develops strategic industry responses and initiatives that encourage packaging innovation and ensure the continued safety of the packaged food supply.
Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Sara worked as an analytical chemistry technician at the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory (USHRL), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS). During her time at the USHRL, she gained extensive experience with chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. This background has been useful when working with clients to determine the appropriate data needed to support new food contact substance clearances.
While in law school, Sara was the Senior Notes Editor of The George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and a member of the Environmental Law Association and the Student Intellectual Property Law Association.
- Provided legal and educational support to industry trade association on U.S. federal, state, and global issues
- Provided regulatory counsel and support on food contact matters for large coating manufacturer
- Provided regulatory counsel and support to food processing equipment manufacturer
- Monitored state laws aimed at specific packaging materials and/or components of packaging materials
- American Bar Association (ABA)