Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 64

FOOD SAFETY

TRIAL

by fire
Paul Kiecker
took over as FSIS
Administrator just
as the coronavirus
was starting to
impact the country
BY B E R N A R D S H I R E
m e a t p o u l t r y @ s o s l a n d.c o m

P

64

Regulatory Operations and Deputy
Assistant Administrator for the Office
of Field Operations, the major focus on
inspection, in Washington, DC. And he
worked as a Compliance Investigator
and a Supervisory Compliance
Investigator with the Office of
Investigation, Enforcement and Audit.
Is this experience important?
"Yes, I think so, I know what FSIS is
supposed to do, and I've worked in the
agency at every level," he said.
Three years ago, Kiecker became
FSIS' Acting Administrator and then
Deputy Administrator over the past
year. MEAT+POULTRY talked to
Kiecker about what FSIS is doing to
ensure meat and poultry and meat and
poultry processors are safe, especially
since the onset of the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic.

MEAT+ POULTRY | 09.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

MEAT+POULTRY: What are main
goals of FSIS?
Paul Kiecker: They are to prevent
foodborne illness and protect public
health, modernize the inspection
system, our policies, and the use of
scientific approaches for food safety,
and achieve operational excellence in
everything we do.
M+ P: You were named Administrator
of FSIS at an interesting time, to say
the least, the onset of COVID-19 in the
United States. How has the pandemic
affected what FSIS is doing and trying
to do?
Kiecker: Yes, I started on March 12.
Our No. 1 priority has been to make our
inspections in the field and conditions
for our inspectors as safe as possible.
We've followed all the CDC and OSHA

US Department of Agriculture

aul Kiecker was named
Administrator of the US
Department of Agriculture's Food
Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS),
the agency regulating meat, poultry
and processed egg products, in March
of this year by Secretary of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue. He supervises a budget
of over $1 billion, and he has spent
most of his 32-year career working
for the agency. He joined FSIS in
1988, and like some other previous
administrators, he started out at the
bottom, as a food inspector.
"I held virtually every job between
inspector and administrator," he said,
mostly in field operations.
He served as deputy district manager
in Madison, Wis., and district manager
in Madison and in Springdale, Ark. He
also served as executive associate for


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Meat+Poultry - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - September 2020

Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 2
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Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG2
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