She's a Scientist: Sami Fischer
UNL’s Food Processing Center provides educational, technical and business development services to food makers across the state. Food Safety Specialist Sami Fischer helps small food businesses “cook by the book.”
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[00:00:03.250]Sammy Fisher washes up and suits up for a safety check
[00:00:06.900]inside UNL's food processing center.
[00:00:09.570]We'll always need to eat
[00:00:10.920]and a major part of food manufacturing is making sure that
[00:00:14.716]our food supply is safe.
[00:00:16.500]And so making sure that we have safe and quality food is
[00:00:19.270]kind of really important for everyone.
[00:00:21.430]And one of the major things that I love about my job.
[00:00:24.299]Fisher helps small-scale Nebraska food manufacturers,
[00:00:28.190]navigate rules set by the food and drug administration and
[00:00:30.748]the US Department of Agriculture.
[00:00:34.020]A lot of our smaller food manufacturers,
[00:00:36.380]don't have the knowledge base to really understand all of
[00:00:39.280]the FDA and USDA regulations.
[00:00:41.127]And so I'm kind of here as a resource.
[00:00:43.430]Fisher, watched small manufacturers find ways to grow,
[00:00:46.700]even during the pandemic.
[00:00:48.784]With the COVID pandemic,
[00:00:50.620]a lot of our food manufacturers didn't shut down because
[00:00:52.613]even though the world shut down,
[00:00:54.300]we still needed to eat.
[00:00:55.864]Food companies as a whole,
[00:00:57.730]I think had been having a lot of growth,
[00:00:59.217]especially the smaller companies,
[00:01:01.093]because a lot of those producers,
[00:01:03.321]they had other jobs and they did this on the side.
[00:01:05.982]But with working from home,
[00:01:08.430]they were able to put a lot more effort into this.
[00:01:10.726]And so a lot of them are really expanding during the
[00:01:14.770]Fisher first learned about food science
[00:01:16.039]while taking classes to
[00:01:17.372]become a physical therapist.
[00:01:19.960]I actually did not really enjoy science.
[00:01:22.080]When I was younger in high school,
[00:01:24.010]I actually had a science tutor,
[00:01:25.704]but I got into food science and making it through organic
[00:01:29.160]chemistry was still a little tough.
[00:01:30.900]Still had to call on Marta tutor from high school.
[00:01:33.433]And she still was able to help me out.
[00:01:35.449]Now, the only thing Fisher enjoys about
[00:01:38.030]her job more than helping
[00:01:39.440]people is reading federal regulations.
[00:01:42.147]I'm kind of weird.
[00:01:43.300]And I like to read those regulations and
[00:01:44.133]really understand them.
[00:01:45.646]And my favorite part is bringing those down into more
[00:01:49.070]layman's terms so that they understand where these policies
[00:01:52.121]are coming from and why they were put in place because
[00:01:55.310]nobody wants to sell a product that isn't safe.
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