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Food Safety News

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Al Almanza

Top Food Safety Officials Focused on Collaborating Over Combining Agencies

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Top officials of U.S. food safety agencies are not wholeheartedly supportive of a single food safety agency, arguing that collaboration is a higher priority. During the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore on Thursday, leadership from the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Association of Food and Drug… Continue Reading

WHO Uses World Health Day to Shine Light on Food Safety

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Food safety is so important to everyone around the world that the World Health Organization (WHO) dedicated this year’s World Health Day — celebrated each year on April 7 — to spreading awareness of it. As readers of Food Safety News know, food contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances can lead to long-lasting… Continue Reading

Savings From a Single Food Safety Agency Appeal to Some House Republicans

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Some House Republicans appear to be considering proposals for a single food safety agency. In January, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced bills to establish such an agency independent of any federal department. In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, President Obama proposed the consolidation of the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Dual Heads

Opinion

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Military officers sometimes wear “dual hats,” meaning, for example, that they might be both a base commander and the commander of an army. In food safety, we now have “dual heads” that Barack Obama and Tom Vilsack want fitted into one hat. Those heads belong to Al Almanza and Brian Ronholm, both of whom now… Continue Reading

Almanza Named Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA

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Al Almanza, administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was named the USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety on Monday, according to the meat industry trade publication Meatingplace. Almanza will share the title of Deputy Under Secretary with Brian Ronholm, who has been serving as Acting Under… Continue Reading

FSIS Poultry Rule Requires More Pathogen Testing, Introduces Voluntary Inspection System

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The new poultry inspection rule announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires additional microbiological testing at all poultry processing facilities and introduces a fifth inspection system available for U.S. plants to voluntarily adopt. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called the rule a “longstanding effort” to “modernize our system” and said the agency is confident… Continue Reading

NIOSH Director Says FSIS Administrator Misinterpreted Line-Speed Study

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John Howard, director of the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is concerned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has misinterpreted the findings of a recent study evaluating worker safety at poultry-processing plants. At the request of FSIS, NIOSH evaluated the effects of waivers of line-speed restrictions… Continue Reading

USDA: New York Times Article Misrepresented IT Malfunction

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The story of a two-day computer system failure within the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month has been exaggerated by The New York Times and does not accurately represent the state of meat inspection during system downtime, according to the inspection administrator for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. From the afternoon of… Continue Reading

Humane Society Getting Its Way on “Downed” Veal Calves

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For most of the past decade, “downer” cattle were kept out of the food supply because of concern that most were older cows, which are thought to be more susceptible to disease, especially Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease. That policy is spelled out in Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Notice 56.07, the… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: New Years Resolutions

Opinion

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I wrote a few imaginary New Year’s resolutions for some of our newsmakers that we haven’t gotten around to publishing until now. As the great Willie Nelson would say: “Funny how time slips away.” Truth be told, some of my colleagues thought I was being too harsh on the government this year. I don’t think… Continue Reading