Enough results are in from the 2012 Food Safety News Reader Survey for a 47-page report to have hit my desk by the time I returned from California late last week.

Wow! What can I say?

FOOD-SAFETY-NEWS-SURVEY-RESULTS_406x350.jpgI guess should I say “thank you!” to the several hundred readers who stepped forward to speak for the 2.5 million readers we’ve enjoyed serving during the last 12 months.

Because of the marvelous participation, we have a lot to digest.   It’s great to know that our readers like our overall approach to the selection and number of stories and to doing serious journalism.  

This is not a vanity sheet coming out of some advertising agency and it is heartening to know that you all recognize and appreciate that.

Like many other unseen things around here, Suzanne Schreck, who is our web guru, made the 2012 Reader Survey possible. She juggled what everybody thought should be in the survey, and then produced and executed the entire project while making it all seem so effortless.

There’s much for us to build on, but before we do any of that we did want to share some changes with you that are flowing directly from the survey.  These include:

– Among the buttons after every story, there is now one that looks like a little envelope that can be used to send the story by email to a friend or colleague.

This means no more sending links or cutting and pasting  to share a story.

– Going forward, if you are signed up for the daily subscription email and you click on the author’s name, it will take you to the author’s biographical page not the Food Safety News homepage.

Food Safety News has outgrown its current publishing platform and fairly soon will be moving to a new one.  When that happens, we expect our archive of past stories will be searchable in chronological order through links at the bottom of the homepage.

We are all blown over by the great number of story suggestions our readers have provided.

Many of these are nicely specific.  While it is going to take some time to get to all them, we are definitely going to pursue each one to see if it goes anywhere.

On comments, our policy remains unchanged.  We floated some trial balloons in the survey, but our readers like it the way it is.  Specifically that means we will continue to accept comments of any length so long as they are on topic and do not contain personal attacks or other offensive contacts.

It was my pleasure last week to spend some time with the California Environmental Health Association (CEHA) in Sacramento. One question I kept getting out there concerns our policy on guest opinions and commentary.  Some authors we publish do have very hard and fast opinions on the issues of the day, and their commentaries are labeled as opinion.

Sometimes those opinions do not reflect our own; we welcome all points of view.  

However, that’s not all we want to publish. Any experience or case study that you would care to share with others in the food safety community is a candidate for a guest commentary.  

Share how a local food safety policy change is working out or how a local investigation was handled.

In other words, it does not have to be opinion.  We are interested in purely factual stories as well.

As thanks for being a guest speaker at the CEHA event, I was told that a tree was being planted in my honor in a U.S. forest.  Thank you, CEHA, for that honor.  I found CEHA members to be classy folks who work as hard at their conferences as they do in their communities.