Food safety expert earns AMSA Distinguished Research Award
By: Norman Martin
Mindy Brashears, a professor of food safety and public health with Texas Tech University's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has been presented the American Meat Science Association's 2018 Distinguished Research Award.
The award, established in 1965, recognizes members with outstanding research contributions to the meat industry and is sponsored by ConAgra Brands. The honor was presented at a special awards banquet at the AMSA's Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday (Jun. 26) in Kansas City, Missouri.
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 also serves as director of Texas Tech's International Center for Food Industry Excellence, is in line to be the new Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She now begins the process of senate confirmation for the department's top job over food safety. The intent to nominate was announced in early May.
Brashears, who earned her bachelor's degree in food technology from Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has been actively involved in the AMSA organization for 16 years, previously serving as a judge for the RMC graduate research poster competition and Taste of RMC. In addition, she received the AMSA Industry/Extension Service Award (2017), and in the same year was named a future icon in the meat industry by the National Provisioner and was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org