DATCP Announces Retirement of Food and Recreational Safety Administrator Steve Ingham

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2021

Contact: Kevin Hoffman, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5005, kevin.hoffman@wisconsin.gov

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MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announces the retirement of Steve Ingham, administrator for the Division of Food and Recreational Safety. His last day will be December 16, 2021.

“Throughout his tenure at DATCP, Steve understood that we serve as a resource to as well as a regulator of the industry," said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “Under his leadership, the division was able to educate and regulate, and staff understood that the industry shares our goals of creating access to safe, nutritious food and healthy businesses. I appreciate the time Steve has devoted to this agency and the consumers of Wisconsin, and I wish him well in his future endeavors."

Ingham has served 14 years (2008-10, 2011-21) as the state's top food safety official, working under five different secretaries. His accomplishments include:

  • Leading 227 food and recreational safety employees across Wisconsin.
  • Guiding the transfer of restaurant, lodging, and recreational regulatory programs to DATCP from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
  • Supervising Wisconsin's efforts to become the first state to achieve full compliance with federal manufactured-food safety program standards.
  • Coordinating Wisconsin's successful entry into the federal program that allows for the interstate shipment of state-inspected meat products.

“Leading a top-notch food and recreational safety regulatory program at DATCP has been the opportunity of a lifetime," Ingham said. “I am grateful for the trust shown in me by successive administrations. I leave my post with the utmost pride and admiration for my colleagues over the years. Their professionalism and passion for public health serves Wisconsinites well."

Prior to joining DATCP, Ingham held faculty positions in food science at Louisiana State University (1988-89), the University of Saskatchewan (1989-93) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1993-2008, 2010-11). He has served on the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) through the Executive Board and several food safety-related committees. Ingham also served on the National Advisory Committee on Microbial Criteria for Foods.

In 2007, Ingham received the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors' Meritorious Service Award and, in 2018, he received the Wisconsin Association for Food Protection's Wisconsin Food Safety Leadership Award. 

Due to Ingham's retirement, DATCP is seeking an experienced, effective manager to lead its Division of Food and Recreational Safety. For more on this opportunity, see the DFRS Division Administrator position posting.


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