Nicole Richard: your food is safe with her
As the Research Associate/Food Safety Specialist with the Food Safety Education and Research Program at the University of Rhode Island, my work includes research and outreach programming. My lab-based research has primarily focused on the evaluation of biochemical and microbiological quality and safety parameters of seafood. I coordinate food safety outreach programs and collaborate with others to offer workshops, conferences, and training for the food industry and consumers. Educational programs target volunteer foodservice workers, food processors and entrepreneurs, growers, and consumers. I coordinate planning of the Rhode Island Food Safety Task Force’s annual conferences. I enjoy the diversity of the research and outreach programming I am involved with at URI.
How did you get interested or involved in food systems / food policy matters?
I have always loved food – I studied food science and nutrition in college. The outreach programming offered by the URI Food Safety Education Program has given me the opportunity to interact with some local food producers and to gain a greater appreciation for all the hard work put into growing the local food movement. My involvement with the design committee for the RIFPC offered me a greater awareness for the many contributions of food systems players on a local and regional scale.
What skills/qualities/experience are you proud to bring to the Council, and what, in turn, do you hope you will gain from your time serving on the Council?
At my core, I enjoy being able to help people – whether I am teaching laboratory skills to students or answering food safety questions from food processors and consumers. I relish the challenge of understanding food safety regulations. I plan to utilize my networks more broadly to deliver food safety related information to the Council and RI stakeholders. I hope to be able to serve as a liaison between food safety regulations and food producers and growers.
I enjoy meeting new people and hope to gain more insight into many of the food system-related activities taking place in RI.
What’s your favorite food-related thing about Rhode Island?
I love cooking mussels at home and eating them with my husband and children on the back deck.