Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Michael Partridge is a Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) serving in the Office of Field Operations (OFO) in the Philadelphia district of the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service.
As a CSI, Partridge greatly impacts food safety as he ensures that FSIS establishments operate within a sufficient food safety system. While protecting the nation’s supply of meat, poultry and processed egg products, Partridge’s duty as a CSI is to ensure that FSIS-regulated products are safe, secure, wholesome, unadulterated and properly labeled. In addition to these duties, he also conducts regulatory oversight activities inside the plants in matters relating to other areas of consumer protection.
Partridge embarked on his FSIS journey in January 2010. Prior to joining FSIS, Partridge had worked in the food industry for 30 years. He had worked for two different companies as a general manager in charge of their food safety systems.
During his past employment, Partridge explains, he had the opportunity to meet a lot of CSIs and their supervisors, many who tried to get him to become a CSI for FSIS. Time passed, and 14 years later, Partridge found himself in search of something different and more challenging. He realized that he was experienced and knowledgeable in the meat and poultry business, and when it was again suggested that he should become a CSI for FSIS, he did.
Partridge says he enjoys the work that he does for FSIS.
“Working for FSIS, I find that there are always new things to learn and each day a new challenge may be presented. Everyone I have worked with in FSIS from the district office, headquarters (in Washington, D.C.), and my fellow inspectors have been kind, fair, friendly and a pleasure to associate with. I like to work with the establishments and I like to ensure they are treated fairly,” he said.
With aspirations of becoming a compliance investigator or a front line supervisor, Partridge continues to learn and get involved whenever he can. He took the lead in the Philadelphia district for the “Feds Feed Families” campaign, and joined his district’s Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee and the Circuit Safety Committee to help ensure all inspectors in the area are working in safe conditions. Additionally, Partridge has volunteered for the FSIS Food Safety Discovery Zone, and enjoys helping his fellow inspectors when needed.
Outside of FSIS, Partridge loves to spend time with his wife and two children.
“My wife and I always strive to do things together as a family — yes, including eating meals — and we try to keep our children involved with activities (such as) karate, gymnastics, piano lessons, archery, Cub Scouts and the science club, and when my wife and I have time, we actually do karate with the kids,” said Partridge.
On the weekends, Partridge spends his time shopping, doing yard work and helping out neighbors and friends when needed.
Partridge likes to remind his coworkers, “Remember not to be too serious in life, not to let the things we cannot control upset us and if it does, let it go quickly. Tomorrow is another day and it will be different — whether good or bad — but since we control our destiny we can affect how the day is. We can do whatever we want in our lives and we do have some control over our lives; we just need to make sure our brain knows that.”
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