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John Munsell

Check Murano’s record again before naming Ag Secretary


I am writing this in response to the article appearing in Food Safety News on Dec. 27 regarding Elsa Murano’s being considered for Secretary of Agriculture. The article refers to Murano’s previous service as the USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) from 2001-2004. Prior to Murano’s arrival at FSIS, every USDA-inspected plant… Continue Reading

FSIS Comes Full Circle With Grinder Logs and Faster Tracebacks to the Source

It was not so long ago that USDA meat inspectors and their supervisors didn’t even want to hear it. Ground beef from a small Miles City, MT, processor was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, but the men from the federal Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) did not want to know that all the beef… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: Test Run for New FSIS Traceback Policy


Troy and Sterling Heights are a pair of hardscrabble Michigan towns both about 20 miles north of Detroit now dealing with a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. Each has a retail meat market that since Thursday first recalled 500 and then the second 550 pounds of ground beef. Each meat market in turn sold ground beef to… Continue Reading

Santa Claus Wants To Know: Who’s Been Naughty & Nice?

Editor’s Note: It’s time to put out the milk and cookies for Santa Claus and read the Food Safety News Naughty and Nice List for 2012. This is the fourth N&N list we’ve prepared. Our annual Naughty and Nice List along with our New Year’s Resolutions are among the traditions we’ve continued to observe as… Continue Reading

The ‘Meatpacking Maverick’ and USDA’s New Traceback Policy

If you follow food safety policy, there’s a good chance that when you think of traceback, you think of John Munsell. Once dubbed the “meatpacking maverick,” Munsell has been extremely critical of the fact that the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t routinely track the source of E. coli O157:H7 beef contamination unless people are sick…. Continue Reading

E. Coli Confession: Part 9

Editor’s Note: This is the ninth and final installment in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA’s meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today. The primary… Continue Reading