There are not a lot of new good ideas out there, so sometimes you have to steal a good old one.  A late, great editor of the Salt Lake Tribune use to do a weekly “Letter from the Editor.”

We thought we’d try that here and see how it goes.  We like having communication with our readers going both ways.  It is not our intention to respond to every comment, but sometimes things come up that does merit our talking back to you.

As a 7-day-a-week daily, Food Safety News is written on some hard deadlines from at least three time zones with our editorial staff in Denver, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Last week, we had a late-arriving report from Canada’s Food Inspection Agency on new poultry standards. Our headline was: “Canada to Chicken Farmers: Clean Up.”

Reader Albert Chambers, who we suspect hails from Canada, took exception, writing:

“The development and publication of the new National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard in Canada is a positive move – belittled, however, by the headline and the tone of this article.

“Also hidden, and well worth an in-depth exploration by Food Safety News is the fact that the new standard is an adjunct to the longstanding, HACCP-based, national on-farm food safety (OFFS) programs already in place on Canadian poultry farms.

“These national OFFS programs have been a genuine collaboration between the poultry producers (broilers, turkeys, broiler hatching eggs and table eggs), other segments of the industry (feed mills, hatcheries, processors and further processors) and governments (federal and provincial) to create an integrated, supply chain approach to food safety in the poultry industry. 

“Each national program has achieved technical recognition by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s National On-farm Food Safety Recognition Program.

“This means that they have gone through a very rigorous assessment by a team of federal and provincial government experts (HACCP and poultry industry) against a formal set of criteria based on the Codex approach to HACCP, CFIA’s own technical requirements for recognizing HACCP in federally registered facilities and current science.

“The OFFS programs in the poultry sector are just part of Canada’s approach to on-farm food safety – there are in total 19 commodity-specific programs covering 99 percent of Canada’s agricultural production either in development or now being implemented by Canadian farmers.

“More details on these and links to the various programs can be found at

“Again – lets see Food Safety News look beneath the headlines and explore the Canadian approach to HACCP-based on-farm food safety, perhaps through a series of contributed articles.”

Mr. Chambers, we hear you.  We do want our headlines to bite, but not belittle.  We are looking for contributed articles and good direction for our own writers for future stories.

We will talk again next week!