If you ask Joseph Woltz III what is the most rewarding part of his career, his answer would be simple and matter of fact: “What could be more rewarding than a career where your daily grind is protecting people from foodborne illnesses?”
Woltz’ “daily grind” is a lot different than the one he originally planned. When he was young, he always thought he would become a teacher. But instead of going into education, he took up the “family” business: the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Today, Woltz is a compliance investigator. He conducts and takes part in surveillance and enforcement activities and performs other investigative duties to protect the nation’s meat, poultry and processed egg supply from his base in Chicago, Ill. He joined his father, Joseph (Jr.), who works as an inspector in Buffalo, N.Y., along with his brother, Mark, a consumer safety inspector (CSI). Another brother, Joshua, works as a CSI in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Holidays are a lot of fun for us,” said Woltz. “We all get together and talk about work.” His father, who has worked for FSIS for 39 years, has never grown tired of his job, and although many miles and a time zone separate the father and son, Woltz said he relies on the senior Woltz’ wisdom and expertise. “My father knows policies, and he has seen almost everything. When I have a question about an investigation, or I have a problem, I call him first.”
Whether it is managing and directing investigations or making sure products are safe and wholesome as they enter commerce, Woltz said there is “never a dull moment” on the job, and his job always makes for lively discussions around the dinner table.
“I love this job, and I get so excited about what I do. You should ask my wife. She would tell you that I can’t stop talking about my job because I love what I do.”
So, what’s next for Woltz, who said he has aspirations of working in Washington, D.C.? “I couldn’t be happier. Right now, my focus is on my current duties and how I can better serve the American people.”
Woltz is one of thousands of FSIS employees who take the agency’s public health mission to heart. He is a Face of Food Safety.
Be sure to check out Faces of Food Safety online here.