Faces of Food Safety: Program Specialist Natasha Williams
As the daughter of an Air Force Officer, Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training (OOEET) Program Specialist Natasha Williams grew up knowing that she wanted to do something big to serve her country. Today, she fulfills her lifelong ambition through a career in public health and outreach with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Food safety has always been a part of her life
Growing up, Williams would always see her parents carefully handle the chicken and steaks they were making for dinner, but never really understood why it was so important. "Before coming to FSIS, I had cooked often, but I did not realize that the meat needed to be cooked to a safe internal temperature," said Williams. After learning about food safety on the job, she now shares her knowledge with friends and family.
A native of Aurora, Colo., Williams received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Colorado. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Washington, D.C., and joined FSIS in May 2009.
From the very beginning, Williams has been focused on building connections and bringing people together to achieve common goals.
Working for OOEET's Outreach and Partnership Division, Williams provides outreach to small and very small establishments that specialize in slaughtering and processing. This can include sharing technical expertise, agency updates, and advice to small and very small establishments on policies, implementation of food safety systems and enforcement.
Natasha's work facilitating trainings and her work to better inform plant operators complements the work of FSIS inspectors and other personnel, who ultimately work together to ensure the safety of the nation's meat, poultry and egg products. The work FSIS does is dynamic and demanding, and it takes all of us at FSIS to get the job done. This team approach is exactly how FSIS carries out its overall mission of protecting public health.
|"It's gratifying to work for an agency where you can see the difference you make everyday."
Natasha is also extremely flexible, wearing multiple hats on any given day, Williams says, "The great thing about working in FSIS is that no day is exactly the same. There are so many initiatives that are important to both employees and stakeholders."
Making a difference each and every day
Williams' work to educate small and very small plants is a vital part of ensuring a safe food supply, and it increases compliance by these establishments with FSIS regulations, creates stronger partnerships between the industry and FSIS in our combined efforts to provide safe food for dinner tables everywhere, and most importantly, increases public health.
According to Williams, supporting these establishments is the best part of her job.
"It's gratifying to work for an agency where you can see the difference you make everyday," said Williams. "Working for FSIS is rewarding because you can go into grocery stores and see our inspection seal on the products you purchase. You can say to yourself: this is my agency and I work here. It is so amazing. It is like getting an immediate return on your investment."