FSIS Consumer Safety Inspectors (CSIs) Anthony Carson, Rick Toot, and Rosalinda Curb are just a few of the exemplary FSIS employees who work hard every day to protect public health and ensure the humane treatment of livestock presented for slaughter.
Anthony Carson, a CSI in the Dallas district, contributes greatly to enforcing humane handling policy at the cull cattle plant where he works.
The oldest son of a small-town veterinarian, Carson has worked with cattle for as long as he can remember. Carson’s father has been his greatest influence. “Dad gave me that love of animal husbandry, instilled in me a strong work ethic, and showed me the importance of constant self-improvement.”
After gaining hands-on experience in the clinic and on farms with his father, he obtained college degrees in Animal Science and in Agricultural Services and Development. He then worked for a large swine operation and as the manager of the cattle hospital program at a cattle feedlot. Carson was drawn to FSIS when, in 1998, his father joined the agency as a Public Health Veterinarian (PHV).
While Carson’s father is now working as a Field Veterinary Medical Officer with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Carson continues to work at FSIS. “I like knowing that I’m part of a large team with the goal of protecting public health. I also know that my role as a CSI means that I am the point of contact in my plant for all the work of the agency.”
CSI Rick Toot currently works a four-plant patrol assignment in the Denver district. He began his 35-year career with FSIS at age 20, and although he lives and works in a somewhat remote location, that has not prevented him from staying on the cutting edge of food safety and humane handling. “I wanted to stay in the field and live in a rural community,” Toot says. “But I was always determined to remain relevant, so to speak, and be willing to adapt to new guidance and technology that is constantly evolving.”
Toot’s supervisor, PHV Dr. Robert Getzelman, says that Toot is “one of the finest inspectors that I have had the privilege of working with during my 10 years in the agency. He is especially adept and competent in dealing with humane handling issues.” Toot’s compassion is evident in his dedication to his job and in his words. “It is my personal opinion,” Toot says, “that the livestock we inspect are entitled to an ethical, humane and respectful passing into their final service to man.”
Rosalinda Curb, a CSI in California, is very observant and conscientious regarding the care and handling of the cattle at an establishment that slaughters predominately cull dairy cows, in addition to beef and range cattle.
Curb says that since the agency has focused on improving enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, “I notice that we are more aware of how the animal is being treated. There is more communication with plant management about humane handling.”
Administrator Al Almanza is proud to call Carson, Toot and Curb, his colleagues. “All of their attention to humane handling is vital to our public health mission,” says Almanza. “The agency is fortunate to have such committed and inspired people who are making a difference to food safety and animal health every day.”
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 the CSIs and other Faces of Food Safety on FSIS’s website.