Barbara Masters, D.V.M., is the Vice President of Regulatory Policy, Food, and Agriculture at Tyson Foods Inc., where she provides regulatory vision and support to the enterprise and gives oversight to the Office of Animal Welfare. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the Center for Foodborne Illness, and the Steering Committee of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Previously, Dr. Masters spent nine years as a Senior Policy Advisor at Olsson Frank Weeda, where she worked closely with the meat and poultry industry to ensure regulatory compliance. She also served as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), where she established a solid infrastructure of science-based policies and data analysis to reduce foodborne illness and product recalls. Dr. Masters holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Mississippi State University and a Food Animal Internship from Kansas State University.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. Masters [21:42] about:

  • The meaning behind “Never let a good crisis go to waste”—a lesson learned through significant foodborne illness and animal disease outbreaks she experienced during her career—as it relates to Dr. Masters’ approach to food safety policy
  • What it was like to be part of USDA-FSIS’ efforts to develop landmark regulations and guidelines, such as for HACCP or SSOPs, from the administrative process to training and implementation
  • Dr. Masters’ work at Tyson with the Office of Animal Welfare to monitor regulatory developments and establish steps for implementation
  • How the GFSI Steering Committee works with small food businesses with limited resources to help them achieve GFSI certification
  • The “mutual vision” GFSI shares with industry for a future where certification bodies can work more closely with regulators to help improve audits
  • The critical importance of “doing the right thing every time”—a saying borrowed from the late Dr. David Theno, co-recipient of Food Safety Magazine’s 2010 Distinguished Service Award alongside Dr. Masters—as a leader in food safety.

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