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Naughty and Nice thoughts about 2017

Opinion

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue would make a great Jolly Old Elf. In fact, he’s looked upon as Santa Claus in about 300 congressional districts where a visit from the Secretary of Agriculture is an event much like Christmas morning. The range and depth of the USDA bag of goodies now carried by the Secretary… Continue Reading

Brucellosis diagnosis difficult; key questions can save lives

Confirmed cases of Brucella infection linked to raw milk in 2017 prompt heads up for doctors

Contributed

It’s not every day that doctors see a Brucella infection among their patients. The disease is rare in the United States, with only about 120 cases annually. But when brucellosis is suspected, it’s vitally important to order the right tests to diagnose and treat the disease promptly with appropriate antibiotics. But, before the tests are… Continue Reading

Keep the links in supply chain connected to boost food safety

Opinion

The food manufacturing industry has always been concerned with the quality and safety of the food they produce. At the very lowest level, it is an unwritten ethical requirement. But the topic of food safety and quality has never been in the news like it is now. There are many reasons for this increased awareness… Continue Reading

Lab robots crucial for end-to-end food safety data systems

Opinion

Next generation sequencing is beginning to replace traditional DNA methods in food safety testing. As this trend continues, sequencing will no longer be the time intensive process it once was. Laboratories will be limited by how quickly they can prepare samples, not how quickly they can sequence them. Automation will, therefore, play an increasingly critical… Continue Reading

Letter from The Editor: The shameful vacancy at USDA

Opinion

For those marking time, waiting for a new USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, today is something of an anniversary. It was four years ago today that Dr. Elisabeth Hagen stepped down from the post. The top food safety job in the federal government remains vacant. Neither President Barack Obama nor President Donald Trump has… Continue Reading

Baking this weekend? Check your flour and don’t lick the bowl

Contributed

For many people, the holiday season is the perfect time to spend time together in the kitchen and share delicious baked foods and desserts. Follow these safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy when handling raw dough. When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be… Continue Reading

USDA grants through NIFA include food safety research

Contributed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced support for research, education, and extension projects that promote a safe, nutritious food supply. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. “Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick… Continue Reading

Transparency, temperature, tenacity can tame FSMA terrors

Opinion

The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011. The act granted the FDA a number of new powers and enforcement abilities, including mandatory recall authority and the ability to levy fines against offenders. The law was prompted after many reported incidents of foodborne illnesses during the first decade of this century that… Continue Reading