U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the appointment of 21 new members and the reappointment of nine experts to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF).

The committee, renowned for its impartial scientific advice, plays a pivotal role in advising federal food safety agencies on critical matters related to microbiology, risk assessment, epidemiology, and public health.

NACMCF’s new roster is a testament to diverse expertise, featuring professionals from various fields such as microbiology, food science, epidemiology, and public health.

Notably, one member affiliated with a consumer group and five federal government employees representing key agencies are included in the committee’s composition. With these individuals on board, the committee is poised to address a wide spectrum of food safety challenges.

The activities of NACMCF extend far beyond its committee meetings. By providing current information and scientific advice, the committee’s reports serve as the bedrock for regulations and programs aimed at curbing foodborne diseases and enhancing public health.

Collaborating with federal food safety agencies like the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NACMCF ensures a multidisciplinary approach to safeguarding the nation’s food supply.

The newly appointed members of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), each serving a two-year term, bring a diverse range of expertise to the committee.

Among them are professionals from esteemed institutions and organizations across the United States. Dr. Bledar Bisha from the University of Wyoming, Dr. Heather Carleton from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anna Carlson from Cargill Protein are some of the notable names contributing to the committee’s wealth of knowledge.

Other experts include Dr. Ben Chapman from North Carolina State University, Dr. Larry Figgs from Douglas County Health Dept., and Lieutenant Colonel Noel Kubat from the Department of Defense, U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

This esteemed group also includes specialists from various sectors, such as Dr. Michael Hansen from Consumer Reports, Dr. Eric Moorman from Butterball, LLC, and Dr. Marcos Sanchez Plata from Texas Tech University.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yaohua (Betty) Feng from Purdue University, Ms. Janell Kause from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, and Dr. Elisabetta Lambertini from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition are among the experts continuing their contributions.

Additionally, the committee welcomes back Ms. Shannara Lynn from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Seafood Inspection Laboratory, and Dr. Maxim Teplitski from the International Fresh Produce Association.

Dr. Bing Wang from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Dr. Benjamin Warren from the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Dr. Randy Worobo from Cornell University, and Dr. Teshome Yehualaeshet from Tuskegee University are also returning, bringing their knowledge and insights to the ongoing work of the committee in ensuring microbiological safety standards for foods.

In the face of evolving challenges, NACMCF remains at the forefront of innovation. With the introduction of new charges, including genomic characterization of pathogens and addressing specific food safety concerns like Cronobacter in powdered infant formula, the committee is adapting to the dynamic landscape of food safety.

Furthermore, the upcoming virtual public meeting from November 14–16, 2023, promises a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Through collaboration, research, and expert guidance, the NACMCF continues its essential work, ensuring that every meal served on American tables is not just delicious but also unquestionably safe.

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