Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission.
Keeping the public safe from foodborne illness will always be a top priority for FSIS employees. Paul Moede, a consumer safety inspector (CSI) in Green Bay, WI, follows the Agency’s mission — protecting the public’s health from foodborne illness — as a guide every day.
Moede goes above and beyond expectations when carrying out that mission because he strongly believes in it. Moede has dedicated 26 years to working at FSIS and he enjoys every minute. “I go into work every day knowing that I am making a difference in other people’s lives,” he said. “I know that I am the first line of defense in protecting the public’s health and preventing foodborne illness.”
Moede happened to find FSIS while perusing his local newspaper.
“I was reading the paper and saw an ad about FSIS food inspectors. I applied and was hired as an intermittent inspector,” Moede said. “I impact the mission by making sure people are provided with safe and wholesome food.”
Now, on a typical workday, Moede verifies that the establishments he visits have the required food safety systems — Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Point (HACCP) plans — in place and they are being followed. These systems are used throughout the food production process from slaughter to packaging, because they help to keep the public safe.
Moede also reviews establishments’ product testing records and states that this task is an important part of food safety.
“Product testing and the records generated from testing are an essential part of the process when making sure that no one becomes sick from pathogens like E. coli or Listeria,” Moede said. “I understand the results of these tests and know the steps the Agency has outlined to mitigate problems if these and other pathogens have been determined.”
Moede credits his knowledge, skills and abilities to his co-workers.
“Teamwork is crucial in making sure all of the plants are inspected properly,” Moede said. “My co-workers make the workday very enjoyable and productive. I value them because they are an exceptional resource in performing my day-to-day duties. Teamwork is critical when inspectors encounter situations or issues, and communication is necessary to reach the proper resolution. I am willing to help others, and they are too. Without this incredibly collaborative atmosphere, our team would not be as successful.”
A Memorable Award and Family
Moede is known for being a high achiever. In 1978, he was awarded the Future Farmers of America (FFA) American FFA Degree. This degree is given annually to only one percent of the organization’s 10,000 members, who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to the organization, completed at least 50 hours of community service and displayed leadership abilities. President Jimmy Carter presented Moede the award at the National Convention in Kansas City, MO. Moede says, “It was a day I will never forget.”
Despite his busy schedule, Moede prioritizes time with his family. He has been married to his wife Roxanne for 38 years. Together they have two sons, Marcus and Derek. Moede loves spending time with the family at their cabin in Northern Wisconsin, and hunting and fishing with his sons and cheering them on as they race stock cars.
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