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125th Anniversary Speaker

Lee to speak on food safety

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 04 - September 18, 1997

Product recalls and food-safety issues in the beef and poultry industries have recently captured public attention and caused considerable concern among federal and state regulatory officials.

"Poultry is the number one meat consumed in the American diet," said Margie Lee, a medical microbiologist and VMRCVM graduate on the faculty at the University of Georgia. "But modern production practices, as well as infectious-disease threats, can pose significant hazards to both the industry and public health. Science must play an ever more vigilant role in protecting this important food source in the years ahead."

Lee, one of the nation's leading poultry microbiologists, will deliver a lecture entitled "The Changing Face of America's Eating: That Chicken on your Plate," on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Squires' Colonial Hall as part of Virginia Tech's 125th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. A reception will follow in the Williamsburg Room.

Lee plans to discuss the nation's growing appetite for poultry products, changes in production and processing that can affect food safety and public health, existing and emerging pathogens, and new approaches for the detection and control of poultry-borne illness during her lecture.

Lee is presently an associate professor of medical microbiology-avian medicine at the University of Georgia. She earned her DVM degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. She earned her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1982, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. She also earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in medical microbiology from Georgia in 1988 and 1990 respectively.

She holds a 50-percent teaching, 50-percent research appointment at Georgia, and recently received the P.P. Levine Award from the American Association of Avian Pathologists for the best paper in the journal Avian Diseases. She has also been awarded the C.S. Eidson Award and the M.S. Hofstad Award.