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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Faces of Food Safety: A Legacy of Food Safety - Jeffrey Barham

Jeffery BarhamJeffery Barham is a Frontline Supervisor (FLS) based in Topeka, Kan., serving in FSIS’ Springdale District, part of the Office of Field Operations (OFO).

OFO manages inspection and enforcement activities nationwide, ensuring that domestically produced meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome and properly labeled. This FSIS program area also evaluates the same for imported products.

Barham supervises Food Inspectors, Consumer Safety Inspectors, and Veterinary Medical Officers to coordinate and implement public health regulatory activities throughout the Topeka circuit. The activities help identify food safety issues and assist directing employees to conduct inquiries or assessments, document findings, and recommend actions to be taken by the district office and/or headquarters to ensure that public health is being protected. The activities ensure that plants are operating within the regulations and food safety systems are functioning as intended to prevent the shipment of adulterated or misbranded product into commerce.

“I have the opportunity to help and watch many different people grow,” Barham said. “I’m lucky because my job is different every single day, and I am always getting to see and learn about new food safety policy, what it means, and how we execute [those policies] to ensure we are protecting public health.”

"As a FLS, I have the opportunity to use regulatory knowledge and science in combination with leadership skills to solve problems."

Jeffery Barham

“There are new challenges and issues to resolve every day,” Barham said. “As a FLS, I have the opportunity to use regulatory knowledge and science in combination with leadership skills to solve problems. I have a very good team in the Topeka circuit and their dedication and commitment to food safety is what makes me successful.”

Barham’s work for the agency is part of a continuing legacy. For many years, his father was a processing inspector working at a high speed beef slaughter/processing plant in Liberal, Kan. His father’s influence, along with experience in the corporate food processing industry, provided the foundation that started his federal career.

Barham is clear on the Agency’s mission and role, which he shares frequently with colleagues. “Establishments are either compliant or non-compliant and we base our actions on sound regulatory understanding by utilizing supportable thought processes when we verify regulatory requirements,” he said. “Our knowledge of regulatory requirements, professional behavior and ability to communicate with industry goes a long way in presenting a positive image of FSIS.”

Food safety is a real family affair. Barham’s wife, Amber, is a district manager for the Kansas Department of Agriculture overseeing food safety and sanitation requirements at eating establishments.

The couple has two boys ages 22 and 17, and one girl, 11. Outside of work, Barham stays busy acting as a booster for local high school sports. He has coached community baseball and softball teams as well as competitive U.S. Specialty Sports Association baseball teams.

Last Modified Oct 18, 2016