If you ask MSU MS in Food Safety Alumna Cathy M. Crawford about her career she says, “I am a dedicated food safety consultant and an enthusiastic trainer with experience in FSIS and FDA regulated industries.” Her LinkedIn profile lists her Specialties as: HACCP, food safety training, SQF, auditing, GFSI program development, BRC, FSSC 22000, third party audit preparation, food defense and internal auditor training. Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force in Stillwater rated her, “Best Speaker” at the Food Industry Trends Conference on Global Food Safety Initiative and Food Safety Modernization Act last year. She was also a top speaker at the International Safe Quality Foods Conference the same year.
Capitalizing on her education and experience in consulting, food manufacturing and food chemistry/microbiology laboratories, Cathy is the Vice President of the HACCP Consulting Group, LLC. specializing in food defense programs.
Being the spouse of an Air Force Officer, Cathy moved often and needed a flexible career. While researching educational options, she found the MSU Online Master of Science in Food Safety Program. She stated “It is very true that the program is tailored to the working professional. I moved twice, worked in the day time and studied in the evening and was still able to finish.” Cathy graduated in the Spring Semester of 2007; she also earned a Certificate in International Food Law all the while keeping her food safety career moving.
Referring to her work with the HACCP Consulting Group, she said “My degree truly enabled my career. The education and respect I gained helps build trust with clients. My work as a consultant has also allowed me to continue to serve the food industry even if I change residences.”
She has had a wide variety of projects as a consultant. Under a contract through the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), she was the instructor for a series of food defense workshops and facilitated national focus group meetings bringing together industry, trade associations and FSIS representatives to produce voluntary food defense plans and FSIS Guidance Materials. She also assisted in providing food safety and regulatory training to the veterinarians in Poland in 2011. She has also worked domestically ranging from only a few to several thousand employees.
She said would like to continue to work internationally, “The food industry is increasingly global and we are facing importing and exporting challenges.” She explained staying in compliance with USDA and FDA regulations as well as global food safety expectations is necessary regardless of economic conditions. There is, and always will be, a need for safe food.
Cathy’s continued success and expertise in her areas of food safety and defense has come full circle. Shortly after graduation, she was asked to join the MS in Food Safety faculty as an Adjunct Faculty Member to teach a section in VM 810 Food Safety Management in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).