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Food Safety News

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Brian Ronholm

USDA reorganization plan could reduce food safety protections

Opinion

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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

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump chowed down on a wide variety of foods for photo opportunities.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Taylor, Ronholm Praise Food Safety Educators

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In addressing attendees of the 2014 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference in Arlington, VA, last week, Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Food and Drug Administration, and Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm praised the work of the Partnership for Food Safety Education and other food safety educators. “I say all the time… Continue Reading

GAO: USDA Needs to Tighten Up Salmonella and Campylobacter Standards for Poultry

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) take action to reduce pathogen contamination on chicken and turkey products, make sure that agency food-safety standards are being met, and better assess whether on-farm practices are effective in reducing pathogens in live poultry. In a… Continue Reading