USDA’s top four Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) officials held 22 meetings with persons outside the federal government over the summer, according to the agency’s public calendar. Food Safety News periodically published summaries of public calendars for the federal government’s top food safety officials, and last did so on June 25 for March, April and May 2012. Meeting schedules for Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth A. Hagen, FSIS Administrator Al Almanza, Deputy Under Secretary Brian E. Ronholm, and FSIS Deputy Administrator Philip Derfler are posted on USDA’s website.  While the summer months of June, July and August are now available, no schedule information has been made available for the four officials since Sept. 1. In June, Almanza held private meetings with both the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and then he held separate monthly meetings with both consumer and industry representatives. Derfler joined in all the June meetings, except for the one with FMI. Both the FMI and NCBA meetings were about food safety. Ronholm, the deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, joined the U.S. delegation attending the 35th Session of Codex Alimentarius in Rome from July 2 to 7, 2012. Deputy Administrator Derfler met in Washington, D.C. with a representative of Keystone Foods about food safety on July 9. Under Secretary Hagen attended the Conference on Emerging and Persistent Infectious Diseases put on in Fairfax, VA on July 9 and 10 by the Institute on Science for Global Policy. Two days later on July 12, Hagen met with representatives of the Partnership for Food Safety Education about USDA support for the next National Consumer Food Safety Education Conference. Almanza met separately with Cargill representatives on July 12, and Pfizer Animal Health on July 13, both over food safety issues. Ronholm, back from Rome, met with people from the National Research Council on July 17 about the group’s most recent study for FSIS. Ronholm and Almanza took the July 18 monthly meeting of consumer representatives, and Almanza and Hagen both attended the July 19 monthly meeting on industry representatives. Then on July 26 to July 28, Hagen and Almanza both attended the Southwest Meat Association in San Antonio. Back in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 6, Hagen and Almanza meet with representatives of the JBS Swift and Co. over food safety issues. All four of the top officials attended regular monthly meetings with consumer representatives on Aug. 15 and industry representatives on Aug. 16. Both of those meetings were held in Washington D.C. Finally, Ronholm reported having a “general food safety discussion” with a “Beth Johnson” on Aug. 24. Most likely, he was referring to the Beth Johnson who is a government relations expert with Food Directions LLC, and who was a former acting Under Secretary for Food Safety.