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Food Safety News

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Trump to name Georgia’s Sonny Perdue to run the USDA

Ag secretary responsibilities include food safety efforts for meat, poultry, catfish and eggs

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The next secretary of agriculture is expected to be former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to announce the Perdue appointment Thursday, according to multiple media reports. As head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Perdue’s responsibilities would include overseeing the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is the food safety agency for meat,… Continue Reading

Prof Murano makes an appearance at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

The main house at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL.

President George W. Bush’s first Under Secretary for Food Safety, Professor Elsa Murano, got her interview for Secretary of Agriculture Wednesday. It’s unknown whether the former Texas A&M president met with the president-elect, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, or others from the transition team. Murano was spotted before noon at the Mar-a-Lago clubhouse, adjacent to Donald… Continue Reading

More fighting over ‘the dollar’ threatens Beef Checkoff research

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Fighting over “the dollar” has intensified during the past 30 days, raising questions about the future of a longtime source of food safety research funding. “The dollar” is the Beef Checkoff, the $1 added on to the transaction each time there is a bovine sale, from ranch to feedlot, or feedlot to slaughterhouse, etc. It may not… Continue Reading

USDA introduces ‘fix’ in testing for Salmonella in poultry

ARS agricultural engineer Yud-Ren Chen is developing a computer-directed scanning system that could help speed inspection of the nearly 8 billion chickens processed annually through federally inspected U.S. plants.  Photograph taken by Keith Weller (ARS).

Instructions for testing personnel to use a new “neutralizing buffer” solution to reduce the effect of antimicrobial sanitizers take effect today at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The “fix,” explained in a two-page FSIS Notice, is intended to address a problem turned up in research by USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS). ARS researchers… Continue Reading

Safer wings than yesterday’s for the big game next year?

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Standards to prevent 50,000 illnesses through reductions in Salmonella and Campylobacter set by USDA last week might just work. If they do, Americans who yesterday are said to have dined on 1.3 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl 50, are likely to take notice. And one year from now, it’s also likely Secretary of Agriculture… Continue Reading

Sixty Democrats ask Vilsack to delay new hog slaughter rule

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Sixty liberal and mostly urban congressional Democrats have weighed in with their opinions about making bacon, telling the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to further delay expansion of the 20-year old hog Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) pilot program. Secretary Tom Vilsack, now President Obama’s longest serving cabinet member, already won… Continue Reading

USDA Ends COOL Enforcement With President’s Signature on Omnibus Bill

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Effective immediately, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says,  USDA will no longer enforce the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork products because COOL was repealed by Congress. Vilsack said labeling regulations on the books will be amended “as expeditiously as possible” to bring the beef and pork provisions into line.  It means… Continue Reading