UN food safety officer receives top alumni award

Takeuchi-150PULLMAN, Wash. – United Nations (UN) food safety officer Masami Takeuchi recently was honored with the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award for her leadership in global food safety.

Takeuchi, who works out of Rome, Italy, is one of 12 food safety and quality officers employed by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to work on a global scale. She has worked with FAO’s nutrition and consumer protection division since 2006.

She worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in Bhutan, South Asia, 2007-10 to develop and implement an integrated, environmentally sound approach to food safety and animal health. The program’s success prompted the FAO to develop similar programs in eight other countries – five in Africa and three in Asia. She continues to travel to Africa and Asia regularly to ensure the continued success of the programs.

In 2004, a visiting research fellowship sent her to Bangkok, Thailand where she evaluated food safety and the use of biotechnology foods in rural areas. Her assessment of food safety emergency topics and emerging concerns, including Asian flu, was cited by the government of Thailand for use in rural communities.

A native of Japan, Takeuchi earned her first bachelor’s degree in 1994 from Kwassui University in Nagasaki. At WSU, she completed a bachelor’s degree in 1999, a master of science degree in 2001 and a Ph.D. in 2004, all in human nutrition.

She recently was guest speaker for the School of Food Science Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by WSU and the University of Idaho.

The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the WSUAA. Since its establishment in 1970, fewer than 510 WSU alumni have received the award.



Christina Rulffes Parrish, WSU Alumni Engagement, 509-335-6907, parrishc@wsu.edu