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I Am ORA Profile: Diane McDaniel

Diane McDaniel, Consumer Safety Officer (State Liaison), Office of Human and Animal Foods Operations (OHAFO), Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Diane McDaniel

I was raised on a dairy farm and married a grain and cattle farmer. My twin brother is an agricultural extension educator who plans and conducts educational efforts for the agricultural community. You can say I was destined to work in the human and animal food sphere.

I am Diane McDaniel, a state liaison in the Human and Animal Foods Division of the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) in the Cincinnati District, covering both Kentucky and Ohio. These areas house some of the largest food manufacturers in the United States. For the past 16 years, I have actively worked with state and local agencies in coordinating inspections for human and animal foods, monitoring the progress of state assignments and reviewing inspection reports. My responsibilities include collaborating with emergency response coordinators and other FDA centers, along with  training state, industry and agency employees. I conduct educational sessions and presentations to various groups such as industry, farmers and universities on relevant guidelines and regulations.

When I started, there was no official state liaison position; however, my director felt our district had the need for such a role. She felt it important to have good working relationships with our state partners and for the states to have a point of contact for their information, questions and concerns. I enjoy working with the states to ensure two-way communication between state and federal partners. We work together on public health interests such as outbreaks and other emergencies.

I’ve had many interesting experiences over my 27 years at ORA. During several Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks involving eggs, I swabbed countless chicken barns, wading through manure to trace the source of the contamination. My colleagues and I named ourselves “Chicken Queens and Princesses.” Our work on the outbreak supported the regulation 21 CFR 118 Shell Eggs Regulation, which solidifies a final rule designed to prevent the spread of Salmonella in shell eggs during production, storage and transportation.

I can honestly say I love my job. It’s a good feeling to know that what I do is helping protect the American food supply. I am Diane McDaniel, and #IAmORA.