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Food Safety News

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Letter From The Editor: Food Safety News is safe to read

Opinion

Coral Beach, our new managing editor, reminded me this week that back in the day of working for daily newspapers that actually involved the use of ink and paper, there were still problems. One was the common paper tear that could occur just as the presses were starting  up.

This was not something that typically happened once the presses were running at full speed, but just as they were beginning to run.  A pressman would climb up into the rollers, cut away the torn paper, and re-start the whole thing.

NortonSafeWebsite_406x250Paper tears might re-occur two or three times before the presses finally got up to speed. As the editor on duty, we felt the pressure from these events although they were totally out of our hands or abilities. I remember looking beyond the presses to the trucks at the dock and a couple dozen paperboys starring back at me like I knew something.

But like them, I could do nothing but wait for an ink-stained guy named Punk to do his thing.

This week we were experiencing the digital version paper tears on a big press. I was never sure how many readers might be experiencing the first problem because only a handful of our millions of readers had contacted us about.

We learned of this first tear in our digital universe from a reader named Mark. He let us know last Monday that Norton Antivirus by Symantec was blocking all links to our site as “dangerous.”

A couple other readers had emailed me about this problem the previous week, but I had decided to file them in the “think about it” file. Coral Beach, however, went into action, especially after hearing some of those government computes at FDA were generating the same warnings.

I am not one that can make this too technical. Just know that we had a clear bill of health from Norton by Thursday, a process that can take up to two weeks. We appreciate the speedy review from Norton Safe Web, which would not have occurred were it not for the team effort from platform known as Lexblog and FSN’s own tech guy Brian Turney.

Just as the one was getting solved, Coral Beach learned we had another problem or shall we say, issue to deal with. Advertisements began to appear when readers placed comments on Food Safety News and we knew nothing about this.

With help again from the Lexblog Success Team, we learned the advertising was being placed by Disqus, the mostly widely used platform for comments. Pairing ads with comments is fairly new for Disqus and they are providing “revenue sharing.”

As tempting as “revenue sharing” might be, we decided the ad pairing with a specific comment might not be appropriate for our readers and as permitted by Disqus we shut the whole thing down. So, don’t worry about your comment coming with an advertisement for erectile disfunction products.

Whenever the technical bugs are swarming around your head, you’re certain to have a close news decision to make. We did have one of those last week, too.

When the Toronto Globe and Mail reported that the U.S. country audit of Canada’s meat, poultry and egg inspection system might bring in interruption in trade, I was doubtful. The Globe and Mail, however, is often thought of as the Washington Post of Canada and its reporting on Canada’s government is usually thought of as highly credible.

We published a story on the crux of that report only to run another on the same day pulling back after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it was not so. Nothing but the routine was going on over the U.S country audit of Canada’s inspection program and two-way trade of meat, poultry and eggs was never at risk.

We regret the timing that resulted in the two conflicting stories. However, we never regret reporting what we know at the time, nor changing it when we become aware of new or different facts. It’s just that usually we work that ahead of time, but this week there was that tear in the digital universe.

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