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Food Safety News

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Dr. Elisabeth Hagen

Letter From the Editor: A 10-Year Term is the Vacancy Solution



It has been almost two years since Dr. Elisabeth Hagen stepped down as our most recent USDA under secretary for food safety. President Obama has not appointed, nor has the Senate confirmed, anyone to fill that vacancy since Hagen departed. It’s now also been 21 years since, on Oct. 19, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Agricultural… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Mechanically Tenderized Steaks



We’ve let the news spoil several holidays and many a Friday night. Christmas 2009 comes to mind, probably because it was the first. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was chasing down a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases just hours before the holiday. We wanted the story. Then, on Christmas Eve, National… Continue Reading

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Leaving the Agency Next Month


The commissioner’s job at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is coming open at the end of March. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the 59-year-old physician who graduated from Harvard Medical School, announced Thursday that she would be leaving her post next month after serving for almost six years. Dr. Stephen Ostroff, chief scientist at… Continue Reading

The Annual Food Safety News Christmas Day ‘Nice List’

Santa making list

Editor’s note: We continue with our Food Safety News holiday tradition by publishing our fifth annual Christmas Day “nice” list, calling out a few folks we think are worthy of some positive mention based on their contributions to food safety during the past year. This year, we separated the “naughty,” published yesterday, from today’s “nice.”… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: A 10-Year Term


Dr. Elisabeth Hagen is departing government in mid-December, again leaving America without a Senate-confirmed under secretary for food safety. How common are these periods when USDA is without an under secretary for food safety? More common than not, it seems. It was just over 19 years ago, on Oct. 19, 1994, that President Bill Clinton… Continue Reading

USDA’s Hagen Addresses Rep. DeLauro on Inspector IT Network


Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary of Food Safety for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wrote a letter to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) last week regarding DeLauro’s concerns over a reportedly problematic computer network used by USDA meat inspectors. The letter came as a response to an open letter DeLauro wrote to Hagen on Aug. 23… Continue Reading

Hagen Promises Poultry Inspections are Still Going to Change


A government auditor’s critique of data used to justify new poultry inspection rules is not going to prevent the new system from going forward, Elisabeth Hagen, USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety, said Wednesday. Hagen told The Hagstrom Report, the subscriber news service covering USDA, that there were more reasons for the change than just… Continue Reading

Hagen, Taylor Urge Public to Engage in Lengthy Policymaking Process

Next FSMA rules could be out this summer

FDA inspect

The public should not hesitate to be more involved in the food safety policymaking process, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen and Michael Taylor, the nation’s two leading food safety officials, told an audience at the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore late last week. Dr. Hagen is Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: Poultry Politics



In writing about food safety for the past four years, I’ve come to appreciate those times when government, industry and consumers are all on the same page. It’s at those moments that a bipartisan Congress adopts reforms like the Food Safety Modernization Act. Then there are times when government, industry and consumers are not on… Continue Reading

All Federal Meat Inspectors To Be Furloughed on 11 Scheduled Days


The nation’s meat inspectors  will be forced to take the same days off, possibility shutting down the U.S. meat industry on those dates, the House Agriculture Subcommittee learned Wednesday. In an exchange with USDA Under Secretary For Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, the committee heard details of the administration’s plan for 11 furlough days that might… Continue Reading