School of Food Science

United Nations food safety officer honored with WSU Alumni Achievement Award

Masami Takeuchi Alumni Achievement

L to R: Tim Pavish (Executive Director, WSU Alumni Relations), Denise Smith (Director, School of Food Science, Masami Takeuchi, and Val Hillers (Retired Nutrition Faculty)

In September, United Nations (UN) Food Safety Officer Masami Takeuchi, Ph.D., was honored with the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award for her leadership in global food safety.

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Takeuchi presenting on Food Safety at the School of Food Science

A native of Japan, Takeuchi earned a bachelor’s degree there in 1994. At Washington State University, she completed a M.S. degree in 1999 and a Ph.D. in 2004, both in human nutrition. In 2004, a visiting research fellowship sent her to Bangkok, Thailand, where she evaluated food safety in rural areas and the use of biotechnology in foods. Dr. Takeuchi’s assessment of food safety emergency topics and emerging concerns, including Asian flu, was cited by the Government of Thailand for use in rural communities.

Dr. Takeuchi is one of only 12 Food Safety and Quality Officers employed by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to work on a global scale. She has worked with UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization’s Nutrition and Consumer Protection division since 2006.

Masami talks with students

Masami Takeuchi speaking with students after her seminar.

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Takeuchi takes time to share with current students in Food Science during a reception in her honor.

From 2007 to 2010, Takeuchi worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in Bhutan, located in South Asia, 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 travels to Africa and Asia regularly from her home base of Rome, Italy.

While at Washington State University receiving her award, Takeuchi was the guest speaker for the School of Food Science Distinguished Lecture Series. She presented her work with food safety through the United Nations with various faculty, staff and students at the School of Food Science.

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