Food

Here’s what Esteban is up to now that he is finally in USDA’s top food safety job

Here’s what Esteban is up to now that he is finally in USDA’s top food safety job

Getting a Presidential appointment and Senate affirmation turned out to be no simple job for Jose Emilio Esteban, the brand new Undersecretary for Meals Security. But he’s turned in his first couple of months on the job with obvious ease.

Between the time Esteban’s predecessor, Mindy Brashears, exited the USDA constructing forward of Joe Biden changing into President and his Senate affirmation final Dec. 22, the workplace stood vacant for nearly two years. And that’s common for the Undersecretary for Meals Security, the official Congress created 30 years in the past is as typically empty as it’s crammed.

This time, it was 10 months handed earlier than Biden appointed Esteban and one other 10 months earlier than the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Vitamin, and Forestry managed to provide the nominee a listening to and favorable report back to the complete Senate. Then Esteban needed to wait three extra months for the Senate voice vote that confirmed his appointment.

That last-minute affirmation vote did imply Esteban might go to work simply as the brand new 12 months was about to start out. And with the general public calendars out for January and February, it’s attainable to see what Esteban has been as much as in his first weeks as Undersecretary for Meals Security.

These public calendars are issued by the Meals Security and Inspection Service (FSIS), itemizing conferences held by the Underneath Secretary and Deputy Underneath Secretary, Workplace of Meals Security (OFS) and the Administrator and Deputy Administrator for FSIS with individuals exterior the Federal Authorities. 

When Esteban arrived within the constructing, he was no stranger.

Previous to changing into Undersecretary for Meals Security, Esteban labored since 2001 in a number of roles on the USDA’s Meals Security and Inspection Service (FSIS). Most lately he was chief scientist on the FSIS from 2018 to 2022. Earlier than becoming a member of the USDA, Esteban was on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention as an epidemic intelligence service officer, employees epidemiologist, and assistant director of the meals security workplace.

Esteban educated as a veterinarian in Mexico. He holds an MBA, a grasp’s diploma in Preventive Veterinary Medication, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the College of California-Davis.

Ashley Peterson of the Nationwide Rooster Council; and lawyer Brian Eyink of the agency Hogan Lovells have been the primary from exterior the federal authorities to fulfill with the brand new Undersecretary for Meals Security That assembly occurred on Jan. 19, 2023, and was concerning the “Salmonella framework.”

On the Hogan Lovells web site, there’s a quote saying: “Brian Eyink helps shoppers discover sensible options to regulatory issues. Brian is especially delicate to threat administration points as corporations adapt to a regulatory and political setting more and more targeted on inspections, enforcement, and investigations.”

FSIS’s “Salmonella framework” at the moment was about the opportunity of making Salmonella an adulterant in some poultry merchandise, which in late April got here to cross.

On the identical day, Esteban with backup from Sandra Eskin, Deputy Underneath Secretary, OFS, Paul Kiecker, Administrator, FSIS; Terri Nintemann, Deputy Administrator, FSIS; Jeremy Todd Reed, Chief Working Officer, FSIS; Atiya Khan, Chief of Employees, OFS; Karen Hunter, Chief of Employees, FSIS; Mark Williams, Deputy Chief of Employees, FSIS; Robert Witte, Deputy Chief of Employees, FSIS; and FSIS Assistant Directors, met in separate digital gatherings with each shopper and trade representatives.

The Undersecretary for Meals Security’s ultimate exterior assembly throughout his first month on the job was with Bruce Stewart-Brown of Perdue Farms. The Jan. 31 telephonic hookup was concerning the Nationwide Poultry Enchancment Plan. Stewart-Brown is Senior Vice President of Technical Companies and Innovation at Perdue Farms.

The following day, Feb. 1, Patricia Lopez, a reporter with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, was granted an interview with Esteban that was achieved over a digital hook-up.

Salmonella and poultry have been the matters of one other digital assembly, this one on Feb. 2 with Michael R. Taylor, STOP Foodborne Sickness; Craig Wilson, Costco; Sarah George, Costco; Mansour Samadpour, IEH Laboratories, and Consulting Group. Becoming a member of Esteban have been Sandra Eskin, Deputy Underneath Secretary, OFS; Dr. Denise Eblen, OPHS Assistant Administrator, FSIS; Dr. Kis Robertson Hale, OPHS Deputy Assistant Administrator, FSIS; Dr. Amber Pasko, Veterinary Medical Officer, FSIS; Kristal Southern, Organic Science Data Specialist, FSIS; Iva Bilanovic, Mathematician-Statistician, FSIS; and Dr. Peter Evans, Shopper Security Officer, FSIS.

Esteban subsequent participated with the Coalition for Poultry Security Reform in a Feb.13 assembly. Included have been: Sarah Sorscher, Middle for Science within the Public Curiosity; Thomas Gremillion, Shopper Federation of America; Brian Ronholm, Shopper Reviews;  Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group; Mitzi Baum, Cease Foodborne Sickness; Amanda Craten, Shopper Federation of America; Vanessa Coffman, STOP Foodborne Sickness; Shrinidhi (Nidhi) Joshi, STOP Foodborne Sickness; Craig Hedberg, College of Minnesota; John Glenn Morris, College of Florida; Martin Wiedmann, Cornell College; Dr. Alice Johnson, Butterball; Bruce Stewart-Brown, Perdue; Bryan Miller, Wayne Farms; Michael Robach, The Robach Group, LLC;  Steven Mandernach, Affiliation of Meals and Drug Officers; Jerold Mande, Harvard College; Michael Taylor, World Meals Security Initiative; Alexa Cohn, Cornell College; Craig Wilson, Costco; Barbara Masters, Tyson; Matthew Stasiewicz, College of Illinois; Hyo Jin Lee, Temple College; Miller, Bryan; Angie Siemens, Cargill; Katie Stolte-Carroll, Ohio State College; Barbara Kowalcyk, Ohio State College; and John Glenn Morris, College of Florida

On Feb. 14, Dr. Luke Minion, Chris Venteicher, and Sean Simpson, all with Wholestone Farms; together with Ashlee Johnson and Andrew Harker, each with the Russell Group had a digital assembly with the Undersecretary for Meals Security on “Time-Restricted Trial.”

Additionally on Feb. 14, Francisco J Zagmutt, and Jane Pouzou, each of EpiAnalytics, met just about with Esteban and lots of others from FSIS headquarters about salmonella virulence.

On Feb. 15, Esteban led an FSIS session for “USDA-regulated Institutions and Trade Representatives” on updates. And on Feb. 16, the Undersecretary did one other spherical of separate conferences for shopper and trade representatives.

On Feb. 21, Esteban did an in-person “meet and greet” with United Meals and Business Employees Union members. It’s the union representing the meat and poultry crops regulated by FSIS.

Jeremy Wilson-Simerman, Laura McElroy, Janet Helms, and Sarah Kipp, all from McDonald’s with Adam Tarr, and Kevin Diestelow, each of Invariant, LLC met just about with Esteban on Feb. 21 about McDonald’s Beef Provide Chain Antibiotic Coverage.

And that closes out Esteban’s public calendar for his second month in workplace.

He’s the sixth Senate-confirmed Undersecretary for Meals Security.

Along with his predecessor, Mindy Brashears, the 4 others who’ve held the workplace are: Dr. Elisabeth Hagen from August 2010-December 2013; Dr. Richard Allen Raymond from July 2003-January 2009; Elsa A. Murano from October 2001 -December 2004; and Catherine Woteki from July 1997-January 2001.

(To enroll in a free subscription to Meals Security Information, click on right here)

Calendars wouldn’t have to incorporate conferences already introduced to the general public.

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