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Contributing Writers

Dan Flynn

Dan Flynn

Dan Flynn is a Northern Colorado-based writer and editor with more more than 15 years of food safety experience. As a public affairs professional, he worked with government and regulatory agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. His career as a journalist included working for newspapers throughout the West, from the Black Hills to Seattle. His on-scene reporting on the collapse of the Idaho’s Teton Dam and the suicide bombing at Washington State University’s Perham Hall was carried by newspapers around the world and was recognized both times regionally by the Associated Press for Best Reporting on a Deadline. Most of the disasters he attends these days involve food illnesses.

Articles Written by Dan Flynn

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Next up for ag gag: Appeal to 10th U.S. Circuit expected soon

During oral arguments before an appellate panel in Seattle in May, questions were flying so fast at responding attorney Justin Marceau that at one point Judge M. Margaret McKeown told him he could slow down, there would be time for his answers. McKeown and Judges Carlos Bea and Richard Tallman are on the panel from the 9th… Continue Reading

Chipotle’s food safety officials recently visited Washington D.C.

James Marsden, top food safety official for Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, who joined the Denver-based burrito chain’s Food Safety Advisory Board in January, met on June 1 with top officials at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Hagen was USDA under secretary for food safety from 2010 to 2013. Her return with Marsden… Continue Reading

Texas reports uptick in Cyclospora cases; cooking kills parasite

The Lone Star State put out the warning on Monday — those microscopic parasites are back. During June and July, the Texas Department of State Health Services saw a spike in the intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with Cyclospora parasites, upping the year-to-date number of cases to 68. There were 148 cases… Continue Reading

USDA says mad cow case in Alabama is ‘atypical’ and not risky

An 11-year old cow in Alabama is the fifth case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) to be found in the United States since 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced late on Tuesday. The non-scientific name for BSE is mad cow disease, a prion disease that reached epidemic levels in Great Britain in the late… Continue Reading

CDC joins E. coli investigation along Utah-Arizona border

In the last couple weeks, the posse has gotten bigger, but the source of a troubling E. coli O157:H7 outbreak on the Utah-Arizona border still has not been identified. Now joined in the ongoing investigation into the Hildale,UT/Colorado City, AZ, area outbreak are the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Mohave County Department of Health, Utah… Continue Reading

Out with the old, in with the new-ish in USDA’s No. 2 post

Al Almanza puts in his retirement papers; confirmation process begins for Stephen Censky

The Al Almanza decade as USDA’s most important figure in food safety is ending, and Stephen Censky is coming in as deputy secretary to help Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue run the department. Almanza, deputy under secretary for food safety and administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), is retiring from government effective July… Continue Reading

At the IAFP departure lounge: Remembering all we’ve learned

The day after the 2017 International Association for Food Protection always leaves attendees headed home with not only complete lessons, but also those “bits and pieces.” Attendees at final event, the awards banquet, spoke about it over their roasted flat iron steak and creme brûlée cheesecake. The problem with the IAFP conference is it is… Continue Reading

IAFP debate: Is the pizza or the box actually causing obesity?

TAMPA, FL  — There are no “snowflakes” or demands for “safe spaces” from any of the attendees of the International Association for Food Protection. Instead there is a willingness to take sides and debate any issue relating to food safety. Take Stephen Base of Texas A&M University who was willing to step in late and argue the… Continue Reading

FSIS, FDA leadership does yearly lounge act before IAFP

TAMPA, FL — Stephen Ostroff, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Monday admitted to felling a little anxious about data showing the incidence of foodborne illnesses is not going down and, for some pathogens, is on the increase. Ostroff, who has run the infectious disease assets of the Centers for Disease… Continue Reading

Utah’s ‘ag-gag’ law is second to be found unconstitutional

Utah’s law criminalizing “both lying to get into an agricultural operation and filming once inside” violates the First Amendment and has been declared unconstitutional by Federal Judge Robert J. Shelby. The ruling announced late Friday by the U.S. District Court for Utah resolves the first lawsuit in the nation to challenge a state’s so-called ag-gag… Continue Reading