Former USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Alfred V. "Al" Almanza has been named global head of food safety and quality assurance for JBS.

Almanza, who recently retired from the USDA, will join the JBS global leadership team, reporting directly to JBS Global President of Operations Gilberto Tomazoni. Almanza will lead the company’s global food safety efforts, ensuring that JBS operations around the world implement the highest food safety, quality control and risk management systems, while maintaining and expanding access to global export markets. He will be based in Greeley, Colorado.

“I am excited to start this new chapter of my career as a part of the JBS Global team,” Almanza said in a press release. 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.”

Almanza’s history of leadership in food safety

Prior to joining JBS, Almanza spent nearly 40 years with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). He began his career as a food safety inspector in a small plant in Dalhart, Texas, eventually working his way up to the under secretary position he held from 2014 to December 2016 under U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Almanza also served as FSIS administrator for the past 10 years, leading USDA’s science-based food safety modernization efforts, regulatory strategies and public health efforts to prevent foodborne illness.

“We are delighted to bring Al’s expertise and passion for food safety, quality and public health to the JBS team,” Tomazoni said in a press release. “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.”

Almanza is a globally recognized expert on food safety, risk management, the development of modern inspection systems and international sanitary standards that govern market access for meat and poultry products. While at FSIS, Almanza held several leadership positions, including labor management specialist, district manager of the agency’s Dallas District Office, and ultimately FSIS administrator, where he led a team of more than 7,000 FSIS field employees.