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January saw few outside meetings for top food safety officials

2017calendar_406x250The federal government’s transition month of January saw only a handful of meetings involving top food safety officials and members of the public.

Both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration report on meetings between their top officials and people outside the government. FSIS reports on those meetings monthly, while FDA issues a weekly summary.

Only two officials had meetings to report during January. FSIS Administrator Alfred “Al” V. Almanza and Stephen M. Ostroff, FDA’s deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine each had reported meetings before and shortly after Inauguration Day.

Almanza, on Jan. 11, met with Dr. Catherine Rogy, deputy agriculture counselor for France to discuss the international equivalence of her nation  with FSIS. They were joined by FSIS deputy administrator Carmen Rottenberg and the agency’s international coordinator, Jane Doherty.

Ostroff met on Jan. 18 with a delegation of the European Union to the United States about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA); and on Jan. 19 with several members of the Food and Beverage issues Management Alliance over the Nutrition and Food Safety Implementation Act. Several other FDA staff members attended each meeting.

On Jan. 25, Almanza hosted staff for Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-MO, and Rep. Mike Conway, R-TX, and the House Agriculture Committee Majority, who came by for a lesson in risk-based inspection. Several other FSIS executives were also in attendance.

Finally after he took over the agency as acting FDA Commissioner, Ostrtoff had meetings on Jan. 26 with members of the Partnership for Food Safety Education on FSMA implementation and on Jan. 27 with attendees of the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference on food safety topics.

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