KAISERSLAUTERN, RP, GERMANY
Story by Russell Toof
Regional Health Command Europe
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany –Spc. Monesha Burton plays a key role in the Army Health System’s fight against COVID-19. Burton, a veterinary food inspection specialist, spends her days inspecting food facilities throughout the Kaiserslautern military community.
“I already knew the importance of my job,” said Burton. “But COVID-19 has really put an emphasis on how important my job is and that I need to do it thoroughly and make sure facilities are following guidelines.”
Burton jokingly added that while mask usage has become the standard due to coronavirus, it’s always been part of the job for her. “It’s the norm for us to basically suit-up before an inspection.”
Burton, originally from Hammond, Louisiana, joined the Army because of family.
“My dad, uncle and cousins have all served,” said Burton. “I was inspired by everything they did. Right now, I plan on doing twenty years.”
Veterinary food inspection specialists play a crucial role in keeping the food for Department of Defense personnel and their families’ safe through inspections and testing of all consumable products used by the military. They are responsible for ensuring all food is safe for human consumption by evaluating packaging, packing and marking requirements, identifying unsanitary conditions in food storage facilities and commissary stores, evaluating vendor supply contracts and deliveries to ensure compliance, and operating and maintaining inspection equipment.
“What I enjoy most about my job is being able to help people by making sure they have a credible source for their food,” said Burton. “My job is food defense and food safety.”
Public Health Command Europe is responsible for providing comprehensive military public health programs in support of garrisons, training areas, and contingency/combat forces operating in the U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation to sustain force health protection and readiness. Those programs include medical entomology, environmental health engineering, food and water sanitation, veterinary care, industrial hygiene and occupational health, and preventive medicine readiness planning and training.
Regional Health Command Europe is responsible for the health care, public health, dental and veterinary services for Soldiers, their families and Department of Defense beneficiaries throughout Europe. For more information, visit https://rhce.amedd.army.mil/.
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