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Faces of Food Safety: Kristin Beaty - Food Safety is a Core Value

Kristin Beaty“For any person interested in protecting the public’s health and preventing foodborne illnesses—whether a scientist, a teacher or a college student—and seeking a way to help make food products safe, wholesome and accurately labeled, I believe that there are awesome opportunities in food safety through FSIS.”

This quote by Kristin Beaty, an OFO processed egg products food inspector and 9-year FSIS employee, expresses the appreciation she has for her career and her understanding of our mission at FSIS. Beaty rates serving others, including nurturing her two young children, as one of her core values. She defines public service as the actions she contributes in making her community, her state and the world in general a better, safer place. Beaty feels that her job at FSIS plays an important role in reaching that personal goal.

Originally from the small town of Fullerton, Neb., Beaty moved to northeast Nebraska in 2002 to attend Wayne State College. She majored in chemistry and minored in biology and has called the area home ever since.

"For any person interested in protecting the public’s health...I believe that there are awesome opportunities in food safety through FSIS."

Kristin Beaty

While in the second semester of her junior year at Wayne State, Beaty began working at two processing plants in Wakefield, Neb., on weekends as a rotating student intern. Two months before her graduation, Beaty sought guidance about her future from two FSIS inspectors whom she considers her mentors. 

“My mentor for egg products was, and, honestly, still is, Debra Mackling, a processed products food inspector. She was the first person to show me the four egg products facilities in Wakefield and give me, a confused college student, a chance at seeing a new world—a career that I wasn’t expecting,” Beaty recalled. “Mackling trained me at the breaking-only facilities (my current position), and then 19 months later, she pushed me into thinking about furthering my career through training at the two further processing facilities, which really helped me gain more insight into the world of egg products. Mackling taught me how to look at things differently; how not to get caught up in doing things exactly the same, such as the times rounds are done; how to effectively communicate to management personnel; and how to strive for more for myself at work and in my personal life.”

“From Randy Dames, a consumer safety inspector, I was able to experience a part of the food industry I had no knowledge of, including my first glances at HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points),” she continued. “Because of that, I gained an interest in learning even more and began a graduate program called Food Safety and Defense. I took courses in HACCP and Food Toxicology.”

Beaty used the knowledge she obtained from her mentors and has applied it to her current job. Her primary responsibilities consist of inspecting the breaking and shipping of unpasteurized egg products, which are largely for U.S. consumption. However, the plant also exports products to Canada.

Kristin Beaty, a processed egg products food inspector, conducts a pre-operation inspection on a double breaker.“Each morning, I conduct a pre-operations inspection, which is a visual inspection of the plant’s equipment that will be used during the egg breaking process,” she explained. “I make sure the machinery is clean and in conformance with FSIS guidelines and regulations. Afterward, I walk through the plant to ensure it is still meeting FSIS’ standards and there are no employee hazards present. I always have to make sure people are safe around me.”

Dr. Randall Broberg, Beaty’s supervisor, describes her as a team player who can be counted on. “Kristin is friendly, honest, cooperative, caring, a quick learner, and is ready and willing to help wherever and whenever it is needed,” Broberg said. “Other inspectors in the area would say that she is a hard worker, determined, professional, committed, flexible, driven and helpful.”

Beaty doesn’t work with other inspectors on a daily basis, but explained that there are multiple inspectors within a 4-mile radius of each other, which gives her the opportunity to talk to and occasionally work with others. “I consider us a team!” she said.

“I am grateful to know those inspectors; they are kind and considerate,” Beaty added. “I love having chances to talk to them and hear their stories. They listen to my thoughts and opinions on topics, and I listen to them and their requests. They are just great people who are all working toward the same goal that I am – ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of egg products and the other products that FSIS regulates.”

At times, her work and home life have intertwined, as Beaty has had personal experience with a pathogen-related illness. Her daughter has had two bouts of Campylobacter. “I know how serious foodborne illness is, and that’s why I make sure that the facility I am responsible for inspecting is producing product that is safe,” she said. “I look at it as if I myself or my family would be the ones consuming that food.”

Beaty is very happy with the career decision she made 9 years ago. “I know that what I do is important to me, my family, consumers and all FSIS employees who inspect meat and poultry,” she concluded. “We all play a part in protecting public health and preventing foodborne illness. How could someone not be satisfied playing a part in that?”

 

Last Modified Oct 17, 2016