AFS's Brashears tapped for USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety post
By: Norman Martin
Mindy Brashears, a professor of food safety and public health with Texas Tech University's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, is in line to be the new Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brashears, who also serves as director of Texas Tech's International Center for Food Industry Excellence, now begins the process of senate confirmation for the department's top job over food safety.
"Food safety is at the core of USDA's mission, because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans every day," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. "I'm excited to have her join the team. Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through innovation, invention, and leadership on research missions across the globe."
The Trump Administration's intent to nominate announcement was made late Friday (May 4) in a news release from the White House Office of the Press Secretary.
Brashears' research focuses on interventions in pre-and post-harvest environments, and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance. Her interests are primarily in meat and poultry products, with some work on spinach as well. Her work has resulted in the commercialization of pre-harvest feed additives that reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle.
Separately, Brashears has led international research teams to Mexico Belize and Argentina to improve food safety and security in those sectors, and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in impoverished areas. At Texas Tech Brashears teaches courses in food microbiology and food safety and offers industry training in food sanitation, recalls and food security.
Brashears, who earned her bachelor's degree in food technology from Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, was recently recognized as one of the "Top 25 Future Icons in the Beef Industry" by the National Provisioner for of her innovative advances in food safety. Recent honors include being recipient of this the American Meat Science Association's Distinguished Extension-Industry Service Award (2017). She is the past-Chair of the National Alliance for Food Safety.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or email@example.com
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Editor: Norman Martin
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