Texas Tech University

Food Safety Expert Earns Distinguished Research Award

Norman Martin

July 5, 2018

Mindy Brashears was recognized for her outstanding research contributions in the meat industry.

Mindy Brashears
Mindy Brashears

Mindy Brashears, a professor of food safety and public health in the Texas Tech University Department of Animal & Food Sciences, has been presented the American Meat Science Association's (AMSA) 2018 Distinguished Research Award.

The award, established in 1965, recognizes members with outstanding research contributions to the meat industry and is sponsored by ConAgra Brands. The honor was presented at a special awards banquet at the AMSA's Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) on June 26 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Brashears' research focuses on interventions in pre- and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance. Her interests are primarily in meat and poultry products, with some work on spinach. Her work has resulted in the commercialization of pre-harvest feed additives that reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle.

Brashears has led international research teams to Mexico, Belize and Argentina to improve food safety and security in those sectors, and has helped set up sustainable agriculture systems in impoverished areas. At Texas Tech, Brashears teaches courses in food microbiology and food safety and offers industry training in food sanitation, recalls and food security.

Brashears, who also serves as director of Texas Tech's International Center for Food Industry Excellence, was nominated in May by President Donald Trump to be the new Undersecretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She soon will begin the process of Senate confirmation.

Brashears, who earned her bachelor's degree in food technology from Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, has been actively involved in AMSA for 16 years, previously serving as a judge for the RMC graduate research poster competition and Taste of RMC. In 2017, she received the AMSA Industry/Extension Service Award, was named a future icon in the meat industry by the National Provisioner and was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors.