Lincoln, Neb. —The U.S. Department of Agriculture has appointed Husker food scientist Byron Chaves to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. Chaves, an assistant professor in the Food Science and Technology Department, specializes in food safety science and related public health dimensions.
Chaves, who joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty in 2017, also is a food safety specialist for Nebraska Extension, providing training and technical assistance to the food manufacturing industry in Nebraska and regionally.
“Your expertise and knowledge are highly regarded,” USDA wrote in making the announcement. “We look forward to collaborating with you on ideas and more effective ways to ensure that our public is educated and knowledgeable about the safety of our meat and poultry inspection.”
The advisory committee’s decisions provide guidance for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which annually conducts 7.6 million food safety and food defense procedures across 6,800 USDA-regulated establishments. FSIS inspections each year include more than 162 million head of livestock, 9.7 billion poultry carcasses and 2.8 billion pounds of liquid, frozen and dried egg products.
Chaves’ Extension activities include on-site food safety assessments for compliance with federal food safety regulations, and development of environmental monitoring programs for pathogens. He assists in developing food safety plans and offers workshops to disseminate relevant food safety information.
Chaves is the state lead for a center leading efforts for the successful implementation of FDA food safety regulations across Nebraska.
Chaves has a B.S. in food technology from the University of Costa Rica; an M.S. in food science/experimental statistics from Clemson University; and a Ph.D. in food safety and microbiology from Texas Tech University. He has been a visiting research scientist at the Centre for Food Safety at University College Dublin in Ireland and at the Food Safety Laboratories at ANSES in Maisons-Alfort, France.
In a letter, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack thanked Chaves for his upcoming service on the advisory committee. “Your expertise and recommendations will benefit and improve our nation’s food safety programs,” Vilsack wrote.
Geitner Simmons | IANR Communications