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J Vet Med Educ. 2004 Winter;31(4):334-40.

Emerging challenges in public health protection, food safety and security: veterinary needs in the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

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Chief Public Health Veterinarian, USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Field Operations, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Rm. 3159-S, Washington, DC 20250-3700, USA.


Meeting the needs of public service practice is a responsibility of the veterinary profession. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has undergone significant change since 1996, when the final rule on Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems and its regulations were published in response to food-borne illnesses and deaths due to E. coli 0157:H7 in undercooked hamburgers. As a result, the role of the veterinarian is changing from a focus on carcass inspection (reactive) to scientific-based systems analysis and enforcement (preventive). With a large pool of veterinarians eligible to retire, a critical shortage of field veterinarians is predicted. The purpose of this article is to raise educators' awareness of this need, of the competencies required, and of the challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in the new public health-focused FSIS. An invitation to collaborate with the agency is offered to help meet emerging workforce requirements in public health practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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