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Pat Curtis, Auburn University poultry scientist, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection for the 2014-2016 term, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced.

Established in 1971, the 17-member committee meets on food safety concerns and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters affecting federal and state inspection program activities. It also contributes to USDA's regulatory policy development.

"The diverse perspectives on food safety that the advisory members bring are invaluable to our success in ensuring the safety of the foods we eat," said Vilsack. "I am firmly committed to aggressively decreasing the incidence of foodborne illnesses, and these outstanding individuals will be instrumental in our work to protect the American people's food supply."

Curtis is director of the Auburn University Food Systems Institute, which encourages interdisciplinary research on issues having to do with the complex, interrelated system that supplies the food we eat. One of the institute's projects is to create online, on-demand training for inspectors of foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration through a cooperative agreement with the FDA.

Curtis joins Manpreet Singh of Purdue University, who is an AUFSI core faculty member and a former Auburn University faculty member. Other new advisory committee members are Brian Sapp of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia, who has been involved in several AUFSI projects; Michael Crupain, Consumer Reports Safety and Sustainability Center; George Wilson, Wilson and Associates; Tanya Roberts, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention; Kurt Brandt, United Food and Commercial Workers International; Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota Animal Industry Board; Krzysztof Mazurczak, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Michael Frances Link Jr., Ohio Department of Agriculture; Randall K. Phebus, Kansas State University; Sherri Jenkins, JBS, USA, LLC; Betsy Booren, American Meat Institute; and  Alice Johnson, Butterball, LLC.

Returning members are Sherika Harvey, Mississippi Department of Agriculture; Dr. Carol L. Lorenzen, University of Missouri; Dr. Michael L. Rybolt, Hillshire Brands Co; Dr. John A. Marcy, University of Arkansas; and Christopher A. Waldrop, Consumer Federation of America.
For more information, contact Jacqueline Kochak at (334) 844-7465 or kochaja@auburn.edu.