I inspect food processing establishments to make sure they are complying with acts and regulations related to import and export, and I sample and monitor meat products to pursue microbiological examinations.
I got my master of science degree at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, and completed a post-graduation diploma in foreign trade management. With that knowledge, I applied my education to a lot of challenging projects in the agribusiness industries. I did my bachelor's degree in agriculture at the same school.
I worked in India for 14 years before immigrating to Canada. Here, I looked for a jobs suitable to my experience and expertise and finally received an opportunity to work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. I started my career with CFIA at Bradford where I handled meat hygiene, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables, plant protection and feed programs. I later moved to the Markham office to work for the meat hygiene program.
A good inspector follows the acts and regulations. Education is ongoing in this field. Every year we prepare action plans around what courses and training are required to address current and future learning. Since I handle food processing, I enrolled in a food science certification course offered through Guelph University. My employer paid all the tuition fees.
The program is composed of five credit courses in food science. I really focused on food chemistry, microbiology and food processing. This certificate afforded me a broad understanding of food science as a whole, how the food industry in Canada works and the present trends. I learned all the basics in food sciences that are the building blocks for various decisions I make to assess food safety. It also helped me understand the rationales behind non-compliance.
Sometimes we have to make hard decisions that may cause the operator of an establishment to dispose of a product. This is a financial burden to the manufacturer. But at the same time, that's our job. We are the protectors of consumers. We have to impose the regulations to safeguard food safety.
The best part of my job is making a difference in the health and safety of all Canadians, which makes me proud and happy.