Food Safety Magazine

News | August 4, 2017

Al Almanza Exits USDA for Major Private Sector Meat Processor

By Staff

Al Almanza Exits USDA for Major Private Sector Meat Processor

After a 39 year stint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that ended with his retirement on July 31, Al Almanza has a new private sector job--global head of food safety and quality assurance for JBS USA, a U.S. company that processes beef, pork and lamb products. Almanza’s position--responsible for JBS’s global food safety efforts, worldwide food safety operations, quality control and risk management systems--will be based in Greeley, CO.

JBS is on a mission to restore public confidence after reports of poor sanitary conditions and public health concerns were raised in relation to Brazil’s overall meat processing methods. JBS is reportedly the largest meat distributor in Brazil. In June, an announcement released by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. would begin blocking Brazilian beef products from entering the U.S. Almanza and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service were involved with the decision.

In his new private sector role, Almanza will be reporting to Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS global president of operations. He says, “We are delighted to bring Al’s expertise and passion for food safety, quality and public health to the JBS team. During his long and storied career at FSIS, Al earned the respect and admiration of his peers for his team-based management approach and his willingness to partner with both industry and public health organizations to ensure the provision of safe, quality food to consumers. JBS is privileged to have someone of Al’s caliber join our company.”

In response, Almanza says, “I am excited to start this new chapter of my career as a part of the JBS Global Team. It was an honor to serve the public as a member of the USDA team and help uphold its mission to protect public health for nearly four decades. I now join a team that shares my commitment to food safety and feeding the world in a safe, sustainable way. I look forward to helping JBS maintain the highest food safety levels in the industry, and putting in place best-in-class benchmarks and safeguards to ensure that our products continue to exceed all industry standards.”

Related articles:
USDA Food Safety Leader Al Almanza Retires
U.S. Bans Brazilian Beef Over Safety Concerns
U.S. Has No Beef with Spoiled Brazilian Meat