UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service has recognized Penn State Department of Nutritional Sciences alumna Susan Scarcia for her work in preventing food-related hospitalizations and deaths in the United States and abroad.
Scarcia earned a bachelor of science degree from Penn State in applied nutrition science with an emphasis in medical dietetics in 1985. She is currently the district manager of the Philadelphia region of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and oversees more than 1,000 federally-inspected establishments. Scarcia was selected from roughly 10,000 employees in recognition of her work, which is featured in a “Faces of Food Safety” profile.
"Faces of Food Safety" profiles, part of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, aim to introduce the public to men and women who play a role in making food safe.
“I’ve always relied on my education at Penn State,” Scarcia said. “All of the courses in the Department of Nutritional Sciences are important to have a background in for the positions I’ve held over the years.”
Scarcia has been working with the Food Safety and Inspection Service for 16 years. As district manager she oversees more than 600 USDA agency employees.
"I provide leadership in promoting and implementing Food Safety and Inspection Services' rules and regulations in 21 circuits throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine," Scarcia said. "I promote Food Safety and Inspection Services' rules and regulations because these laws are designed to ensure a safe meat supply and I am proud of that — they shouldn’t just be enforced — they should be promoted."
Scarcia has worked as a public health nutritionist, dietetic technician and assistant program coordinator for the USDA's Women, Infants and Children Program. In 1998, she first joined the Food Safety and Inspection Service as a food inspector in Vineland, New Jersey.
Scarcia cited the department’s challenging and critical curriculum, which includes courses in chemistry and biology, as a key factor in her career preparation.
“I don’t think I’d be where I am if I didn’t have my education in nutrition and dietetics from Penn State,” she said.
For more information about the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/.