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Posts tagged: Al Almanza

Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen Reaches Out to Employees to Improve FSIS

One of the things I started to do when I became Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA was to hold town hall meetings with Food Safety and Inspection Service field staff and Administrator Al Almanza. This week I had the pleasure of holding such a meeting with our headquarters staff in Washington.

I began the town hall meeting by asking a question: How many people in this country get sick every year from the food they eat? The answer is 48 million people – 1 in every 6 people. Of those, 128,000 will be hospitalized and 3,000 will die from something as basic as the food they eat. That’s a major public health issue, and the work we do is all about bringing those numbers down. Read more »

Food Safety And Inspection Service Inspector Recognized For Innovative Thinking On Cost-Cutting Proposals

When I learned this week of one of our folks being named a candidate finalist for the White House Savings Award, I couldn’t have been more pleased with her idea and effort to improve the way in which we try to achieve a higher standard of how we do things every day. Marjorie Cook, an FSIS inspector from Gobles, Mich., was among four finalists this year for the Obama administration’s White House Save Award, a contest that seeks cost-cutting ideas from rank-and-file federal employees. Through dedication and creative thinking, Marjorie’s idea stood out from 18,000 submissions on how to be more cost-effective in the federal government, which will result in saving taxpayer dollars. President Obama plans on including the winning idea in his proposed fiscal year 2012 budget. Read more »

Food Safety Across Borders

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza (fourth from left) was among the senior executives from 10 federal agencies who took part in the Interagency Import Safety Conference at Dulles, Va., on October 21, 2010.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza (fourth from left) was among the senior executives from 10 federal agencies who took part in the Interagency Import Safety Conference at Dulles, Va., on October 21, 2010.

Yesterday I visited with FSIS personnel and 9 other federal agencies in Dulles, Virginia to focus on a critical element of food safety: protecting the public from unsafe imports. Read more »


El Administrador del Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección de Alimentos (FSIS, por sus siglas en inglés) del Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos (USDA, por sus siglas en inglés), Al Almanza, conversa acerca de cómo el Departamento está llegando a los consumidores que hablan español, y demostrando cómo mantener los alimentos sanos para prevenir las enfermedades transmitidas a través de los alimentos.

Hoy, estoy orgulloso de anunciar el lanzamiento de dos herramientas adicionales del FSIS para la inocuidad alimentaria, dirigidas especialmente para satisfacer las necesidades de nuestra comunidad de habla hispana: Pregúntele a Karen y la cuenta oficial de Twitter en español. Con ambos servicios, el FSIS puede proveerles a los consumidores con la más reciente y actualizada información en español acerca de las retiradas de alimentos y consejos sobre el manejo adecuado de alimentos.  Pregúntele a Karen (Ask Karen) es una representante virtual con información en inocuidad alimentaria que puede conducir “Charlas” en vivo en español, compartiendo información en la inocuidad de los alimentos. Read more »

Administrator of Food Safety and Inspection Service Highlights Spanish Online Tools Available to Spanish-Speaking Community

Al Amanza discusses how the Department is reaching Spanish-speaking consumers and showing how to be more food safe in order to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Today, I’m proud to announce the launch of two more FSIS food safety tools designed especially to meet the needs of our Spanish-speaking community: Pregúntele a Karen and Twitter in Spanish. With these resources, FSIS can provide consumers with the latest, up-to-date information on recalls and safe food handling tips in Spanish. Pregúntele a Karen (Ask Karen) is a virtual food safety representative that can lead live Chats in Spanish sharing food safety information. Read more »

Recruiting the Next Generation of Food Safety Workers

Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza today spoke about career opportunities at Texas A&M Kingsville to the Hispanic Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment. HLAE is a USDA-supported organization that draws membership from several colleges and universities.

The organization works to increase the number of Hispanics in agricultural pursuits in government, academia and private industry. While there, Almanza also observed and evaluated the agricultural research presentations prepared by HLAE members, who are mostly graduate-level students.

“Despite the tough economy, there are jobs at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, especially for those with scientific and technical training”, Almanza told the students.  (Click here for information about job openings at FSIS.)

Positions at FSIS follow the inspection, technical, professional, management, scientific and administrative career tracks. Everyone from veterinarians and chemists, to public affairs specialists and policy writers are needed.”

As a science-based agency, there’s a real need for microbiologists, epidemiologists, statisticians, nutritionists, medical officers and risk assessors.

But it’s not all test tubes and lab coats. The FSIS story is told through the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education, where computer, communications, journalism and writing skills are in demand.

FSIS also works with Hispanic youth organizations to offer internships and other training opportunities in agriculture.

While the Texas trip allowed the administrator to meet HLAE members, Almanza pointed out that careers are equally open to everyone. More than ever before, FSIS needs skilled and talented employees dedicated to protecting the nation’s meat, poultry and egg products.

“As our population grows and now that food safety is a top priority of this administration, working to keep pathogens out of America’s food supply can be a real top job. Agriculture and food safety offer meaningful and satisfying careers,” said Almanza, who has more than 30 years experience at the Department of Agriculture.

By Paul Koscak, FSIS Office of Congressional and Public Affairs