(updated 9/26/2014, 3:53 PM EST)
The USDA has released a Constituent Update officially naming Al Almanza Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety.
"This is a newly created position in the Office of Food Safety, where Brian Ronholm will also remain on board as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. Mr. Almanza has served as Administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service since 2007. He began his FSIS career as a Food Inspector from 1978-1984, and he has held a number of positions with the agency, including as a District Manager from 2004-2007," the release stated.
The North American Meat Association, which has had Almanza as a guest speaker at many of its conferences, issued the following statement from NAMA CEO Barry Carpenter:
“NAMA fully supports the appointment of Alfred Almanza as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. After a career in the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service and more than seven years as its Administrator, Almanza has proved himself more than capable of managing the critically important food safety activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We welcome today’s announcement, and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity.”
Source: FSIS, NAMA
The National Provisioner has learned from sources close to the matter that FSIS Administrator Alfred Almanza is expected to be named Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety "very shortly."
On the FSIS Web site, Brian Ronholm remains listed as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. However, the Web site further says Ronholm was named Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety in December 2013, when Elisabeth Hagen resigned the position to pursue other ventures.
We will report more information as we receive it. Stay tuned to ProvisionerOnline.com for further clarity as this news story develops.
(Updated 9/25/2014, 10:28 a.m. Central)