Who needs Superman when the experts at the Bureau of Regulatory Services with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) are on the job? Donning a lab coat instead of a cape, the bureau’s Meat Inspection and Consumer Protection Divisions focus on one of the most important aspects of our lives – food. While many consumers take the safety of their food for granted, the bureau works tirelessly behind the scenes to combat food-borne illnesses. “An example of that work occurred recently when the department found an individual selling un-inspected hams from an unrefrigerated source to unsuspecting customers,” says Julie McLemore, director of the Bureau of Regulatory Services. “The department prevented him from selling this product and possibly causing someone to suffer from a foodborne illness.” Richard Benton, director of meat inspection, adds, “The Meat Inspection Division of MDAC protects the consumer by ensuring that meat and poultry are safe, wholesome, unadulterated and accurately labeled.” Taking it one step further, the bureau uses resources and expertise to fend off potential outbreaks, scams and unsuitable products at the retailer level. Consumer Protection Division inspectors work with the Meat Inspection Division to make certain that the food offered by retailers is safe, clean and properly labeled. “Sanitary meat markets, food at appropriate temperatures, soap in restrooms, and the absence of insects are just a few of the things inspectors check for in each store they visit,” says Adam G. Choate, director of consumer protection. Without meat inspections and bacteria testing, unfit products could make their way onto grocery store shelves and eventually to Mississippians’ tables.