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Food Safety News

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Letter From The Editor: Rebuilding Season

Opinion

Coral Beach, formerly of The Packer, is the new managing editor of Food Safety News.

She succeeds Cathy Siegner, who left us in December to become a project director for Ballotepedia.

Also moving on at year-end was Lydia Zuraw, our Washington D.C. correspondent for the past two and half years. She has joined Kaiser Health News in Washington.

NextChapter_406x250Earlier James Andrews, who also did excellent work for us again in 2015, left for business opportunities in Asia.

One way of many that Food Safety News is unique, I think, is that we do not tether our people to a specific location. We need people who can work independently and deliver without much oversight with only a weekly conference call to keep us from stepping on one another.

It’s no surprise that other organizations with opportunities across the country notice what our people are doing and go after them. It means we have to rebuild again from the ground up. Coral Beach is a great addition. She comes from daily journalism in and around Kansas City.

She came to our attention while at The Packer, which covers the fresh produce industry, because she is so damn competitive and was not afraid to take on food safety topics. Since she came aboard, we’ve learned she’s also produced news for an XM Satellite Radio show.

As we build our way back, we will rely a bit more on Cookson Beecher, the award-winning agricultural writer from Washington State. Cookson has been with Food Safety News from the beginning.

She writes more or less for us, depending on the season. Sometimes that Skagit County farm of hers keeps her busier than at other times. Her ability to take a complex topic and make sense out of it from a food safety perspective is hard to match.

When USDA released new dietary guidelines this past Thursday, I did not think it had much to do with food safety and I was bored of the whole topic. We published “New dietary guidelines show potential conflict between safe and healthy” by Cookson Beecher the very next day, showing I was wrong and giving our readers a unique view of what the guidelines mean.

We are always on the lookout for thoughtful opinion-editorial contributions. We are always on the lookout, but to be honest, we are looking for them more now than we might be as the year goes on and we rebuild.

If you want to pitch your idea or if you just want to submit an op-ed for review, just send it along with an e-mail to Coral.

As hard as it is to see good people move on, rebuilding brings an excitement of its own.   It reminds me of  spring training in baseball or March Madness in college basketball because anything is possible again.  You can be sure we will soon get back to full strength, while also taking time to pick our new talent carefully.  Those who’ve come before have set a high standard for Food Safety News, and we want to continue to perform at that level because our readers have come to expect it.

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