Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Letter From The Editor: Only Stars Here

There is no other calling than the news business where the professionals sit around talking about “the dog days of summer” like it’s an inevitable occurrence.

Our patronage of this annual rite stands in contrast to the reality we’ve all experienced.  My only man-attacks-bear story occurred during the last half of the summer, but I will spare you those details.


In the news business, the dog days of summer translates into our expectation that the inactivity of others will mean we’ll have less to do.

In fact, the “dog days of summer” really have to do with the time when Sirius, the dog star, rises and sets with the sun.

The ancients thought that it was Sirius and the sun working in unison that was responsible for the last half of summer being hot and sultry across much of the northern hemisphere.  So, the dog star signals when the “dog days” occur.

What I can tell you is that “dog days” are not being observed at Food Safety News. In looking back at the past week, I was struck by the quality and depth of the journalism FSN dished up to readers.

So, just in case you missed any of it, let me go over some of the FSN best in the last week:

Who Really Benefits from the Egg Industry Deal?


Quick with this in-depth analysis after the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers reached agreement on housing conditions for egg laying hens, Michele helped stir a national debate.

Beef Products Inc. to Test for Non-O157 E. Coli


When big players in the market act, they often can bring about change quicker than the government. The decision Beef Products Inc. (BPI) made last week to begin testing for six poisonous strains of E. coli in addition to E. coli O157:H7 — the only serotype meat processors are required to monitor — might be just such an example.

Gretchen gave FSN readers the rundown on this private action to keep the other most common pathogenic E. coli: O26, O111, O103, O45, O121 and O145 out of at least some of the meat.

Asymptomatic E. coli Infections Pose New EU Threat


Just when  you thought the Euro outbreak of E. coli O104:H4 could not get any more complicated, Mary came along with this report on how students in Germany are testing positive, but are without symptoms, and what that could mean for the future.

Food Safety in the Obama Years


It’s too bad that all food safety data is not as thoroughly presented as this summary by Marijke Schwarz Smith. She presents all pertinent data and lets the facts speak for themselves.

Those are just some quick examples showing there are no dog days here. Food Safety News continues to track the Euro E. coli O104:H4 outbreak and several members of our team will continue to work on it this summer.

You may have noticed that interest by most U.S. media has quickly dropped off on the Euro outbreak, even though there are a handful of American victims. We won’t drop the deadliest and most costly E. coli outbreak in history.

Our summer production is also getting a big assist from Olivia Marler, who is holding down our news desk. Yes, we do have enough going on that we need summer help. Thanks, Olivia!

© Food Safety News