With degrees in Chinese and political science, advanced credentials in mathematics, and co-authorship of a book titled The ETIM: China’s Islamic Militants and the Global Terrorist Threat (and a striking resemblance to actor Bradley Cooper), Jeremy “Todd” Reed sounds like the lead character in a spy movie. Luckily for the USDA and carnivorous Americans, Todd’s real job title is “Chief of the Analytical Design Branch, Office of Data Integration and Food Protection” at the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
How do all those credentials apply to food safety? His office, known as ODIFP, develops and implements procedures to prepare for, respond to and recover from significant emergencies, caused intentionally or unintentionally, that threaten America’s supply of meat, poultry and processed egg products. The office also coordinates the agency’s data collection, analysis, and integration activities, which is where Todd really comes in. He is FSIS’ go-to guy for the new Public Health Information System, a web-based program that coordinates data across the agency, making sense of trends that could signal problems in the food supply.
While the work Todd does is complex, it all boils down to one thing: making sure the nation’s meat, poultry and processed egg supply are safe.
Todd transferred from the Department of Defense to FSIS two years ago, and the longer he stays here, the more he says he is able to find similarities between his past and present work. “While USDA and the Department of Defense have different missions, the tools and techniques for analyzing data are the same. The Department of Defense is helping to make where you live safe, and FSIS is working to make the food supply safe. I am finding more similarities than differences. Protecting the public’s health is rewarding work, and if I do my job well, no one will ever know my name.”
Faces of Food Safety is an initiative by FSIS to introduce Americans to the real people who work every day to keep the food in their own homes and yours safe. Click to read more about Todd and other Faces of Food Safety on FSIS’ website.