Food Safety and Nutrition


Crystal Rasnake
Crystal Rasnake Crystal Rasnake is a nutritionist in the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements (ONLDS), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Food and Drug Administration. She works on health claims and policy related to the Nutrition Facts Label. Prior to joining FDA in 2005, Crystal worked as a Research Associate at the Institute of Medicines’ Food and Nutrition Board on the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). Crystal was also an Extension Agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension, where she taught educational programs in nutrition and food safety. Crystal holds a B.S. and M.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

Dr. Patrick McCarthy
Dr. Patrick McCarthy Dr. McCarthy is an epidemiologist and works in the Office of Food Defense, Communication, and Emergency Response, at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Dr. McCarthy earned his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.P.H. degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is a registered Medical Technologist (MT ASCP) and a Registered Dietitian (RD). Dr. McCarthy worked in the Indian Health Service on the Navajo Indian Reservation before joining the FDA in 1994. While at the FDA, Dr. McCarthy has completed detail assignments at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Customs Service, and at the FDA Office of Field Programs, Buffalo Imports Office, Baltimore District Office, Office of International Programs, Division of Emergency Operations, and at the Office of the State Training Branch. His recent duties include coordinating FoodNet activities between CFSAN and the CDC, developing a Foodborne Illness Outbreak Surveillance Database, mentoring interns, co-teaching a foodborne illness outbreak course to State Health Department personnel, participating in farm investigations, and researching the Regulatory role of FDA in the management of listeriosis in the US.

Dr. Sufian Alkhaldi
Dr. Sufian Alkhaldi Dr. Alkhaldi is a Research Microbiologist at the DNA Microarray Laboratory in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration in College Park, Maryland. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1992 with a Masters degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He completed his Ph.D. in 1998 in the field of Microbiology, Cell, and Molecular Biology also at Oklahoma State University.

The objectives of his research are (1) to develop a DNA chip for the identification of foodborne bacteria and (2) to develop novel label-free DNA chips for bacterial gene detection by infrared micro-spectroscopy. Some common techniques which are used in his laboratory include: DNA isolation, PCR amplification, Restriction enzyme analysis, DNA fluorescent PCR labeling, DNA Microarraying, Chip hybridization, Chip fabrication, laser scanning, data analysis using bioinformatic programs, and many general molecular biology techniques.

Sherri A. McGarry
Sherri A. McGarry Ms. McGarry is a Foodborne Outbreak Coordinator on the Emergency Coordination and Response Staff in the Office of Compliance, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She has over 15 years of experience in working at the FDA and most currently investigates and responds to emergencies, including terrorism events, involving food and cosmetic products regulated by FDA. These activities involve coordination with other federal agencies, industry, states, foreign governments, and other stakeholders. Ms. McGarry is involved in developing Emergency Response Plans and Procedures for both the Center and Agency, planning and implementing bioterrorism exercises, and providing microbiological expertise in ongoing foodborne outbreaks and food defense activities. To prevent future produce-related outbreaks, Ms. McGarry has developed and trained domestic and international officials in Good Agricultural Practices and served on teams investigating fruit production and packing.

Earlier in her career at FDA, she evaluated domestic and international laboratories and conducted wastewater disinfection research. She earned a Master of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the International Association for Food Protection, American Society for Microbiology, and the AOAC International.

Camille E. Brewer
Camille E. Brewer Ms. Brewer joined FDA in 1992 and was immediately assigned to the drafting team responsible for the development of the Nutrition Facts label. She was lead drafter of the calories, calories from fat, sodium, and potassium sections of the final rule on nutrition labeling. As Team Leader for Regulations Policy Development at CFSAN’s former Office of Food Labeling, Ms. Brewer was the principal author of the proposed and final rule updating the list of Daily Values, nutrient content claims for dietary supplements, and structure function claims for dietary supplements. She joined the Food Safety Staff as International Activities Coordinator for Food Safety in 1996. In 2004, she became the Associate Director of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplement Programs.

Ms. Brewer is the recipient of the 1998 United States Public Health Service Award and a two-time winner of FDA’s Award of Merit, the agency’s highest honor award. She earned her Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio and has a Bachelor's degree in political science from Lincoln University.

Shawn Eblen
Shawn Eblen Shawn Eblen has a MS degree in Bioscience and Biotechnology from Drexel University and a BS degree in Microbiology from Auburn University.

He served nine years conducting research with the U.S Department’s of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service before joining FDA six years ago. During this time, Shawn worked extensively with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenses and Clostridium botulinum to support CFSAN’s counter terrorism and retail food research programs.

Currently Shawn is a program manager for research coordination within the Office of Science. Shawn also coordinates the FDA lab tours.

Mimi Cooper
Mimi Cooper Mimi Cooper is currently the Senior Middle Level Facilitator for the Science and Our Food Supply Professional Development Program. She has served in this role since the beginning of the program in 1999. She was also a member of the NSTA Expert Panel that was part of the team that developed the curriculum - Science and Our Food Supply. Mimi was a middle level classroom teacher in Peabody Massachusetts for twenty-eight years. For five years she was a partner in the consulting firm - Northeast PALMS, Inc. where she worked with elementary and middle level science and mathematics teachers in their classrooms to implement inquiry-based curricula and with school systems to align their curricula with state and national standards. Mimi received her undergraduate degree from Wilkes University and her graduate degree from Boston College. She is a member of the Massachusetts Hall of Fame of Science Teachers.

Elena Stowell
Elena Stowell Elena Stowell is currently an assistant facilitator for the Science and our Food Supply Professional Development Program. Elena teaches AP Biology at Kentwood High School in Covington, Washington. She has been teaching high school science for fifteen years. Elena received a BS in Biology from Washington State University and an MS in Animal Science, also from WSU. Her graduate work in beef cattle nutrition included the enzymatic characterization of the cellulolytic ruminal anaerobe Neocallimastix frontalis EB188, a fungus she discovered. In 2000 Elena received the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Washington state (by NABT) and her National Board Certification (AYA Science) in 2001. In addition to her work with the Science and our Food Supply Program, Elena is also a Science Education Partner in biotechnology with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA), a teacher mentor, basketball coach and mom.

Ken Bingman
Ken Bingman Ken is currently in his 44th year of teaching. He is in his sixth year of teaching Honors and AP Biology at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, KS. Ken is the High School Facilitator for the FDA/NSTA Science and Our Food Supply Program. He was a member of the steering committee (1999) and the field tested the original materials in 2001. Ken has been active in the development of educational programs for thirty years. He has worked with NSTA, FDA, National Institutes of Health, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), JMH Education, New York, and the Kansas Board of Education. He was a committee member to develop the National Science Education Standards and the Kansas Science Education Standards. He was a Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in the Teaching of Science in 1984. He was a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellow to Japan in 1999. He was named National Biology Teacher of the Year in 1998.

Ken has traveled to 25 countries as a delegation leader for the People to People Student Ambassador Program. He was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1998. During the Kansas evolution controversy, Ken was featured in Time Magazine, Globe Mail, and the Asahi Shimbum, a daily newspaper in Tokyo and he was on talk programs on PBS, NPR, and MSNBC.

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Underwritten in part by FDA