Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development
Rachel Edelstein became the Assistant Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD) in 2012. In that position, she leads the development of Agency policies and the development and publication of numerous FSIS policy documents, including regulations, instructions to the field, and guidance to industry.
She directs the staffs that conduct economic analyses for regulations and Agency policy; reviews and approves labels for meat, poultry and egg products; and reviews and approves the use of new technologies and ingredients in meat, poultry, and egg products. Her responsibilities also include development of Agency policy and instructions to the field concerning import and export of meat, poultry, and egg products.
Ms. Edelstein’s policy work has covered a range of issues that are important to both consumers and industry. She finalized the policy declaring certain non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli adulterants in non-intact raw beef product and directed the development of related sampling instructions for inspectors and guidance for industry. Following outbreaks, Ms. Edelstein promoted stronger food safety protections through policy requiring establishments to reassess their HACCP plans for ground or comminuted poultry products. She also led the development of policy and procedures for the new sampling and testing of comminuted poultry products for Salmonella and Campylobacter. In addition, in her current position, she led development of the proposed rule to modernize poultry slaughter inspection and to require that mechanically tenderized beef product be labeled to ensure consumers know that it has been tenderized and to include validated cooking instructions.
Before becoming Assistant Administrator, Ms. Edelstein led development of policies concerning E. coli O157:H7, new Salmonella performance standards for broilers and turkeys, and numerous labeling regulations. Before joining FSIS, she worked on budget and policy development for student loan programs at the U.S. Department of Education.
Edelstein has a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in English from the University of Virginia.