Donald A. Prater, D.V.M. is Acting Director of the Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since 2019, he has also served as Associate Commissioner for Imported Food Safety in OFPR, providing direction to and management of imported food safety programs. In addition, he served as a senior scientific advisor and technical expert on matters related to human and animal food safety and the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Before joining OFPR, Dr. Prater was the Assistant Commissioner for Food Safety Integration, serving as the principal spokesperson on behalf of FDA’s Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program for imports discussions with external stakeholders, including foreign governments, as well as being responsible for import-related strategic resource planning activities. Earlier in his FDA tenure, Dr. Prater was Director of FDA's Europe Office in Brussels, Belgium, and served as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Country Representative to the EU.

Dr. Prater received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Government and Corporate track) in 1996. Following a three-year residency in anatomic pathology, he joined FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in 1999 as a Veterinary Medical Officer. He served in several roles including Leader of the Aquaculture Drugs Team, CVM Pathologist, and Director of the Division of Scientific Support.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Android

In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. Prater [28:44] about:

  • FDA initiatives and FSMA standards that address some of the food safety risks posed by global supply chain disruptions
  • Activities FDA is undertaking to ensure the safety of imported produce, in alignment with the 2019 Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food
  • How FDA’s commodity-specific prevention strategies increase food safety by engaging industry and leveraging lessons learned from outbreaks
  • The reasoning behind FDA’s 2022 literature review on food safety culture, and how findings on the emerging discipline are applicable to FDA and industry
  • How FDA collaborated with Stop Foodborne Illness to further Core Element 4—Food Safety Culture—under the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint, which will be discussed in an upcoming FDA/Stop Foodborne Illness webinar live from the Food Safety Summit on May 11
  • Initiatives FDA is taking to improve its understanding of food safety culture and educate stakeholders
  • Dr. Prater’s outlook on how the proposed reorganization of FDA’s Human Foods program may affect the agency’s emphasis on food safety culture
  • Efforts FDA is making in the area of consumer food safety education through the lens of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety
  • Why “better food safety in the 21st Century begins and ends with better data,” and the technologies that are enabling improved collection, analysis, and quality of data
  • Industry privacy concerns amid an increasingly digitalized and traceable food system.

We Want to Hear from You!

Please send us your questions and suggestions to