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Food Safety News

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Federal Government Shutdown: Impact on Food Safety May Compound Over Time

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As the U.S. enters the third day of a federal government shutdown, meat inspectors at the U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue performing their duties uninterrupted, while inspectors at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – which oversees 80 percent of the food supply – have been asked to turn in their government cell phones… Continue Reading

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

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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

FDA Moving Too Slowly to Promote Private Inspections

Opinion

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Congress told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require importers, beginning no later than July 2012, to verify the safety of each shipment entering the U.S. Those who relied upon independent private inspections (“3rd party certification”) were to be rewarded with expedited entry through customs. Independent inspections were to be mandatory for those importing… 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

Eggs in Nationwide 2010 Recall Had USDA Mark of Quality

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This article was originally published on July 31 by The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting as part of a series titled “Cracks in the System.” In August 2010, Wright County Egg of Galt, IA, announced a nationwide voluntary recall of shell eggs. Later that month, another Iowa farm owned by Wright County Egg conducted a nationwide recall as… Continue Reading

Long History of Violations at Peanut Plant Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

Company knowingly shipped contaminated product

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Sunland, Inc. – the company whose peanut butter was the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened 41 people this year – has a history of sanitation problems dating back to 2003, according to government reports released Wednesday. Inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted a string of unsanitary conditions at the company’s… Continue Reading

Pizza Stand at Seattle Farmers Market Shut Down for Health Violations

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A pizza vendor operating at a Seattle farmers market was shut down this weekend after a health department inspection revealed multiple sanitation violations at the facility. The Veraci Pizza, Inc. stand at the Ballard Farmers Market in Northwest Seattle closed Sunday when health officials from the King County & Seattle Health Department found that employees… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: USDA Drops Ball on Foreign Meat Safety

Opinion

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We practice at least two types of journalism here. Mostly we do daily journalism, finding out what we can and bringing it to you in the same news cycle. We are also are able to do some investigative reporting, also known as enterprise journalism, that requires more time to produce. Usually, the subject of investigative… Continue Reading

Advocates Ask USDA to Halt Poultry Inspection Plan

Plan jeopardizes worker, food safety, groups say

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Citing worker safety and food safety concerns, a mix of health, labor and consumer groups is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withdraw a proposal to scale back the physical inspection of poultry. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, 23 groups and 16 individuals on Thursday lodged a number of criticisms of… Continue Reading