Extension expert named to USDA food safety committee
RAYMOND, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University food safety specialist has been named to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection.
Byron Williams, an associate Extension professor of food science specializing in muscle foods processing, regulations and safety, was recently appointed by USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack. Williams is also a member of the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.
As a member of the committee, Williams will help make recommendations to the USDA inspection programs, which impact food safety policies and help shape regulatory policy related to meat and poultry. He will serve a two-year term on the committee.
As an Extension specialist, Williams develops and delivers programs and services to muscle foods and other food industries in the state, serves as an advisor to catfish processors for USDA regulatory control measures, conducts and collaborates on research to help solve industry problems, assists local harvest and processing facilities, answers consumer and industry questions, and conducts training and workshops on sanitation, value enhancement and food safety for producers and processors.
Williams has more than 40 years of experience in the muscle foods field. His career includes over 14 years with Sara Lee Corporation -- Bryan Foods Division as the assistant manager of product control, manager of product control and director of research development. He was the company liaison with USDA and served on various committees for product safety and raw material specification development.
Williams then joined MSU as a research associate and assistant to the dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for 10 years before becoming a faculty member of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. He was the Extension southwest regional coordinator for two years and continues as associate Extension professor from the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, serving clients statewide.
He serves on the Mississippi State Department of Health Food Safety Task Force and as an ex-officio faculty advisor of the MSU Pre-Vet Club and MSU Food Science Club. Williams also serves on various departmental and industry association committees and works with USDA and Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce meat and poultry inspection personnel to facilitate the local and regional industry.
Williams holds an associate degree in science from Southwest Mississippi Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in animal science from MSU, and master’s and doctorate degrees in food science and technology from MSU.