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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Al Almanza

New leadership at USDA, FDA might increase outside meetings

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Poultry, antibiotics, Ionophores and activities with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency were among the subjects of April meetings between Al Almanza, administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and people outside the federal government. Almanza’s public calendar for April included five meetings, four before Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was confirmed by the… Continue Reading

Top food safety regulators say D.C. transition going smoothly

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CHICAGO — America’s top cops in food safety gathered for a “Town Hall” Thursday morning at the 2017 Food Safety Summit. They let the attendees know that if they were worried about the transition in government, they can forget about it. From the states’ perspective, the Association of Food and Drug Officials’ Joseph Corby spoke of unprecedented cooperation…. Continue Reading

Not a lot of outsider demand for meetings with “acting” agency heads

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Al Almanza and Carmen Rottenberg are keeping the coffee hot at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) but they are not getting many takers during this transition in government period. Almanza, the acting deputy undersecretary for USDA’s food safety office who also doubles as FSIS administrator, and Rottenberg, who has… Continue Reading

FSIS steps up hotline and online chat services to improve food safety

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The Meat and Poultry Hotline and the  “Ask Karen” online chat service have gone to expanded hours, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).   Both consumer lines are for people who need immediate and accurate food handling and preparation advice. The expanded hours are called for in the agency’s… Continue Reading

USDA beefs up scrutiny of Brazilian beef amid bribery scandal

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None of the slaughter or processing facilities targeted by the Federal Police in Brazil have shipped meat products to the United States, according to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Nevertheless, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw and ready-to-eat beef products from Brazil once it heard a scandal was brewing…. Continue Reading

Vacant positions are slowing things down at FDA and FSIS

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While the Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price says we can expect the next Food and Drug Administrator commissioner to be named soon, significant meetings held by designated FDA policy makers with persons outside the executive branch continue to draw down. Acting FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Ostroff has so far reported on three… Continue Reading

January saw few outside meetings for top food safety officials

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The federal government’s transition month of January saw only a handful of meetings involving top food safety officials and members of the public. Both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration report on meetings between their top officials and people outside the government. FSIS reports on those meetings… Continue Reading

USDA saying less during transition, but scientists not gagged

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Reports of a black out on public information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service are vastly overblown. ARS Chief of Staff Sharon Drumm did send out a three-line email Tuesday to the agency’s 2,000 scientists to let them know the agency would not be releasing any “public facing documents” until further notice…. Continue Reading

Storms and stability ahead for food safety efforts in 2017

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Food safety in 2017 will be dependent on our “complicated bureaucracies” that exist to get through transitions and times of change. Both USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  are sure to be  taking many “business as usual” actions in January. Confucius taught the Ancient Chinese bureaucracies… Continue Reading

Almanza ends his deputy undersecretary appointment with plenty of meetings

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When his  appointment as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety comes to an end on Jan. 20, 2017, Al Almanza, who never gave up his  career employee status, will just switch back to being Administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Since Almanza  was named Deputy Under Secretary, he’s been the acting FSIS… Continue Reading