CARROLLOTON, GA. — Ann Hollingsworth, Ph.D., 52, of Carrollton, Georgia, passed away on May 17. She had a long and respected career in the meat and poultry industry.
Dr. Hollingsworth began studying meat science at Auburn University where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She completed her master's and her Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Roger Mandigo at the University of Nebraska, according to the American Meat Science Association.
Her career encompassed fresh and processed meat and poultry operations in research and development, food-safety assurance and education. Dr. Hollingsworth began working in the industry as a research scientist for Armour Food Company, where she was the technical leader for the early work in pre-packaged branded meats and the use of sodium lactate as an antimicrobial agent.
In 1992, she joined Bil Mar Foods where she led a team that developed the Sara Lee Deli Meats lines. She also led a basic research team that developed methodology for carbon dioxide stunning of turkeys and a multidisciplinary team that studied the biochemical phenomena responsible for causing pale, soft and exudative breast meat in turkeys.
Dr. Hollingsworth joined Keystone Foods in 1995, where she served as vice-president for food safety. She provided leadership in food safety and quality assurance, both within Keystone Foods and the McDonald’s system. She was responsible for all facets of food safety in the company’s 16 plants and 25 distribution centers. She and her team developed and implemented a comprehensive food-safety system for manufacturing, distribution and foodservice operations at locations throughout the world, A.M.S.A. relays.
During this time, she was recognized for her leadership, vision and expertise by being chosen to serve as a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for Food Safety for the McDonald’s Corporation.
In 2001, Dr. Hollingsworth began her own consulting firm, Better Built Foods. Since her business began, she developed numerous in-house educational courses to train existing employees in food safety, H.A.C.C.P. and basic meat science. These courses were designed for various audiences including senior executives, operations employees and food-safety and quality-assurance employees.
She was also very active in the American Meat Science Association. She served on the A.M.S.A. Board of Directors in the early nineties when the plans for A.M.S.A.’s transition to autonomy from the National Livestock and Meat Board were being formed. She returned to board service from 1999 to 2002 as a member of the Executive Committee.
Dr. Hollingsworth’s volunteer spirit has been shared with many other organizations. She was an active member of The Institute of Food Technologists, where she held many leadership positions, including serving as I.F.T.’s 64th president. She has also led a number of committees in the American Meat Institute.
As an industry leader, she was frequently chosen to testify on behalf of the meat industry at public meetings where regulatory and food-safety issues were discussed. During her tenure as A.M.S.A. president, she was also a requested witness at a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee representing the meat industry.
Dr. Hollingsworth also was the recipient of A.M.S.A.’s 2007 Signal Service Award, which is awarded to association members in recognition of devoted service and lasting contributions to the meat industry and to the association.
"Ann was a loyal friend and colleague to all of us in the American Meat Science Association," said Thomas Powell, A.M.S.A. executive director, in a letter to A.M.S.A. members. "In addition to hours of volunteer work in numerous committees, she served terms as director, president and treasurer of the association. Her passion for this industry was eclipsed only by the passion she had for the many people she served with."