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Will FSMA Make a Difference?



To answer the question of whether the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will make a difference, I want to take a look historically at why FSMA ever got passed by Congress. To do this, I have to wind the clock back almost 10 years. The only thing that got FSMA through Congress — and those… Continue Reading

Hold the Bacteria: Made-to-Order Disease

Deli sandwich worker wearing gloves

(This article by Sydney Ross Singer was originally posted on his blog Sept. 30, 2015, and is reposted here with his permission.) The next time you are in a sandwich shop or deli where workers make your sandwich in front of you as you select items to be included, check out their hands. According to law, there should be… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: A Stiff, Cold Wind


Marler and Parnell at congressional hearing

A week ago last Monday, I was sitting in a bar in the Boston airport across the gate from my delayed flight (I would eventually get home a day late) monitoring tweets and texts for the outcome of the sentencing of Stewart Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell, and their “food safety” director Mary Wilkerson, which… Continue Reading

USDA has Food Safety Advice for Those Affected by Hurricane Joaquin

Hurricane Evacuation Route sign

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued some food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by Hurricane Joaquin. On Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service announced that Hurricane Joaquin is now a Category 4 hurricane in central and northwest Bahamas. It is expected to move into the United States… Continue Reading

The Government’s Role in Food Safety


(U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, was co-author of the Tester-Hagan Amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act, which exempted certain small, local producers from regulation. He sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee and also on its Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.) As an organic farmer from north-central… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Parnell Crossed a Long-Existing Line



Since the sentencing of the Peanut Corporation of America criminal cases, some may be wondering if anything has really changed. The longest prison sentences ever handed out for food safety violations would, on the surface, appear to be a new bright line for food manufacturers. But, on closer look, maybe not. Food manufacturers have long… Continue Reading

Praise for an Unlikely ‘Whistleblower’


PCA plant in Plainview, TX

Kenneth Kendrick, missing Monday from the federal courthouse in Albany, GA, did not hear the praise that came from a witness during a pivotal day in the world of food safety. Kendrick is a former assistant plant manager of the Plainview, Texas, peanut processing facility once owned by the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA)…. Continue Reading

Guilty Verdict Puts Food Safety Responsibility Where It Belongs


Inspection at bottling plant

Guilty! The perpetrator of the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak, Stewart Parnell of the Peanut Corporation of America, just received a 28-year sentence for knowingly distributing Salmonella-containing peanuts. The familiar refrain will be that this is evidence that our food safety system is broken. But those who believe that the response in 2010, the Food Safety Modernization… Continue Reading

Bearing Witness to Justice at the PCA Sentencing



Audiences at my lectures are often surprised that, after the death of my 16-month-old son, Riley, during the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak, no state or federal agency filed criminal charges against anyone involved in that easily-preventable tragedy. For the past 22 years since Riley’s death, I viewed the American justice system… Continue Reading

New Era for Food Safety: What Companies Must Do



The processed food industry has evolved over the past several decades to keep pace with food safety advances, including the development of HACCP and, more recently, the implementation of GFSI-benchmarked food safety management programs. The implementation of FSMA is yet another revolutionary change that will have tremendous impact on the industry. Why? Because the food… Continue Reading