Army Public Health Command ensures food safety

| November 22, 2012 | 0 Comments
FORT MEADE, Md. — A U.S. Army Public Health Command employee inspects a shipment of carrots at the Commissary, here. (Photo by Christina Graber)

FORT MEADE, Md. — A U.S. Army Public Health Command employee inspects a shipment of carrots at the Commissary, here. (Photo by Christina Graber)

Master Sgt. Lennard Bookman
U.S. Army Public Health Command

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — One of the duties of the U.S. Army Public Health Command is to ensure that preparing and handling food safely becomes engrained in the Department of Defense culture and becomes common practice at home, as well as in the workplace.

“Great food safety habits can start simply and lead to a healthier lifestyle,” explained Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ronald Biddle, USAPHC senior food safety officer. “Food safety begins and ends with proper hand washing.”

But hand washing is just one piece in the total food safety picture.

USAPHC’s Veterinary Services Portfolio provides food quality, safety and defense guidelines, policies and procedures for Army veterinary service personnel worldwide. These guidelines enable Army veterinary food inspectors to provide their customers with a high-quality and wholesome food supply.

“They perform sanitation inspections of facilities, to include inspection of products received, stored and sold,” said Biddle. “They provide these services to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service establishments; Defense Commissary Agency establishments; Morale, Welfare, and Recreation facilities; and troop feeding activities. These inspections are performed on Navy and Marine installations throughout the nation and abroad.”

Ken Salazar, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and a farmer/rancher, notes the importance of food safety and defense.

“I think it is paramount that we take proper steps to ensure the safety of our food supply and domestic livestock herd,” said Salazar.

Col. Paul Whippo, Food Protection Program manager, said Salazar’s comment not only reminds individuals of how important the safety and security of the food supply is, but how it is integrated from farm to fork.

“As members of Public Health Command, we develop and implement food safety policies for the Army. We also work in support of our sister services to ensure that the DOD food supply is safe for service members, retirees and their family members,” explained Whippo.

“We work with other federal and foreign regulatory agencies to make sure that we cover as much of the total picture as possible. The bottom line is, without the inspector — in the commissary; Troop Issue Subsistence Agency, Meal, Ready-to Eat plant; MWR; AAFES facilities and the auditor in the commercial plants — our system and the safety and security of our military food supply would not exist. They ensure our military forces and their families are not at risk,” said Whippo.

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Category: Community, Health, Safety

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