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Food Safety News

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USDA

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

15 Members of Congress Ask Vilsack For More Answers on Poultry Inspection Rule

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Fifteen members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Friday with questions about the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The members — including Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) — wrote that they are “extremely disappointed” that the agency didn’t address their concerns about the rule, adding that it is… Continue Reading

Part 2: History of Food Safety in the U.S.

Opinion

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(This article by Michelle Jarvie of Michigan State University Extension was originally posted here on Oct. 2, 2014, and is reposted with permission. Part 1 is here. Part 3 in her series will be appear later this month.) Welcome to the second installment of the history of food safety in the U.S. This time we’ll take a look… Continue Reading

USDA: U.S. Foodborne Illnesses Cost More Than $15.6 Billion Annually

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New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service attempt to put a price on the cost of major foodborne illnesses in the United States. Rather than interpreting the data, USDA’s economic unit has released spreadsheets for 15 major pathogens in the U.S. that are together responsible for more than 95 percent… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Dual Heads

Opinion

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Military officers sometimes wear “dual hats,” meaning, for example, that they might be both a base commander and the commander of an army. In food safety, we now have “dual heads” that Barack Obama and Tom Vilsack want fitted into one hat. Those heads belong to Al Almanza and Brian Ronholm, both of whom now… Continue Reading

Texas Beef Products Recalled for Possible E. Coli Contamination

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Caviness Beef Packers of Hereford, TX, is recalling approximately 23,100 pounds of beef trimmings that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday evening. The products were produced on Aug. 14, 2014, and Aug. 20, 2014, and were shipped to fast-food restaurants and retail distribution locations in Texas…. Continue Reading

Almanza Named Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA

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Al Almanza, administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was named the USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety on Monday, according to the meat industry trade publication Meatingplace. Almanza will share the title of Deputy Under Secretary with Brian Ronholm, who has been serving as Acting Under… Continue Reading

Senators Call on Obama for Increased NARMS Funding

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Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are urging the president to include $15 million in his fiscal year 2016 budget request for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), which tracks antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens. The letter, which was sent Monday, stated that the increase would “significantly improve our… Continue Reading

Food & Water Watch Sues USDA Over New Poultry Inspection Rule

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Food & Water Watch (FWW) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture on Thursday that would stop the implementation of the agency’s New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The new poultry inspection rule, announced July 31, requires additional microbiological testing at all poultry processing facilities and introduces a fifth inspection system available for U.S. plants to voluntarily… Continue Reading

Strong New Pathogen Standards Would Save Lives

Opinion

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Each year, one in six Americans contracts a foodborne illness. Of those who become sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. American families shouldn’t have to worry that the food they eat will make them sick. However, we have a long way to go to reach that goal. In 2012, testing by the U.S. Department… Continue Reading