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NEWS | June 4, 2018

Ensuring JB Charleston ‘meats’ standards

By Airman 1st Class Joshua R. Maund Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

When you eat a breakfast burrito at the Globemaster Grill, or when you buy produce at one of the base commissaries, how do you know the food is not only of good quality, but is safe for consumption? There are Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers behind the scenes, keeping you, your teammates and your family safe.

Service members here work together to ensure the quality and sanitation standards of all the food sold and served to members of the Joint Base Charleston community, including military members and their families. The 628th Medical Group handles the food inspection mission on the Air Base and its facilities, while the Army Public Health and Naval Health Clinic inspect the Weapons Station's facilities.

“Working with other branches and civilians to ensure the food inspection mission is complete helps break down the barriers between branches and accomplishes the mission in the most efficient way possible,” said Army Sgt. Myron Young, Public Health Activity NCO-in-charge of food inspection. Other than food inspection, the Army Public Health mission also handles the veterinary needs of JB Charleston’s military working dogs.

The inspectors make sure that everything from procurement of the food, to packaging and storage are all up to standards outlined by the Tri-service Food Code, a standardized guideline for all services that minimizes the risk of foodborne illness and contamination.

“Working with other branches and having uniform guidelines when it comes to food inspections increases our knowledge and inter-branch communication skills,” said Petty Officer 3rd Glenn Boyd, Class Naval Health Clinic Charleston hospital corpsman. “The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that everyone on base is kept safe from food-borne illnesses.”

The service members are also protecting the financial interests of the government by verifying quantities and weights of the incoming food products. All products sold on military installations have to be bought from an approved source.

“The food inspection mission is very important,” said Young. “It is essential that we provide our community with the best and safest produce possible while ensuring that the government is getting what it pays for.”

Most facilities undergo monthly inspections. Places such as the commissaries have daily inspections to ensure the quality and sanitation standards.

“I find the job fulfilling and understand the true importance of what we do,” said Pfc. Selena Landeros, Public Health Activity food inspection technician.

The inspectors also have a very important mission after a natural disaster. When hurricanes and power outages effect the region, the inspectors are tasked with ensuring food is salvageable.

“After a natural disaster, we as inspectors will go to the storage facilities and perform various tests to ensure the safety and quality of the existing food supply. A battery of tests are performed and the outcome is a win-win, either it is a saved life or saved money,” said Senior Airman Onetera Nelson, 628th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Public Health technician.

Together, the Airman, Sailors and Soldiers that inspect our food play a tremendously important role in the safety of the JB Charleston community.