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Food Safety News

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Brian Ronholm

Letter From The Editor: Fill USDA’s top food safety posts now

Opinion

UPDATED: So far,  so good. Secretary Perdue has named, on a temporary basis,  two USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) career employees to the top jobs. Paul Kiecker is acting FSIS administrator and Carmen Rottenberg is acting deputy undersecretary for food safety. A couple days ago we ran Al Almanza official farewell message. He’s been… Continue Reading

Chinese poultry: Verification must precede trust for food safety

Opinion

There is always a healthy amount of skepticism from parents whenever children claim they were able to clean their rooms in five minutes. While the children may have met the literal requirement of the parent’s request, you wonder what surprises would be discovered if you checked under the bed, in the closet or in the… Continue Reading

USDA reorganization plan could reduce food safety protections

Opinion

A seemingly minor component of the USDA reorganization plan released last week could have a negative impact on food safety as the plan gets implemented. Much of the focus has been on the creation of a new undersecretary for trade position, but the plan also calls for the establishment of an interagency committee that would… Continue Reading

Trump’s well-done habits could bode well for food safety

Opinion

While it may appear safe to assume that President Trump will have no interest in these issues, determining his impact on the food safety agenda actually will require a nuanced effort. Notwithstanding the tweet complaining about the so-called “food police” and a leaked phone conversation about imposing stricter food safety standards for trade purposes, President… Continue Reading

Foreign officials, states and businesses want Almanza’s time

The federal government’s top food safety officials made up in the second quarter for any lapses in their first quarter in reporting of their meetings with people outside the U.S. government. The so-called public calendars disclose after-the-fact who has gained valuable face time with top decision makers. At USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS),… Continue Reading

The Year’s Top Ten Food Safety Stories

Here are the Top Ten  food safety stories  for 2015 as compiled by Food Safety News.   No. 1—The massacre on Dec. 2, 2015  of 14 people in San Bernardino County, CA mostly involved those responsible for local food safety and related county health inspections and the homicides were  carried out by Islamic extremists, including… Continue Reading

Calendars Show USDA’s Two Deputy Under Secretaries for Food Safety Take Differing Roles

Through July, people outside the federal government have met in private with the leadership of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 54 different times. Forty-eight of those meetings have been with Alfred V. Almanza, USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary of Food Safety and acting Administrator of FSIS. The remaining six meetings have been with Brian Ronholm, the other… Continue Reading

Advisory Committee Working on the Science of Salmonella, STEC

When the government needs help with a foodborne issue, they turn to a certain committee for scientific advice. In its last term, the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) worked on how to reduce Norovirus infections and to help the Department of Defense ensure that the food procured for U.S. military personnel… Continue Reading

USDA, Salmonella, and the Cowardly Lion: A Profile in the Lack of Courage

Opinion

Dorothy: “Don’t you know the Wizard’s going to give you some courage?” Cowardly Lion: “I’d be too scared to ask him for it.” In an article that will soon be published in the Seattle Law Review, I take a look at food safety through the lens of the “pink slime” controversy and question whether the… Continue Reading

Top Food Safety Officials Weigh in on Key Issues

Q&A session at National Food Policy Conference

At the risk of sounding naive, Michael Taylor said Tuesday that he’s still feeling “great” about the progress made on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). As Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Taylor knew he was in front of a tough audience since he said it during a question-and-answer session with a… Continue Reading