Traditions mean more to us at Food Safety News than the town of Waging, Germany. You may have read about it. It’s the town in the Alps where the gentleman who long played Santa just decided to retire with no obvious successor. The town decided to take this opportunity to dump Santa. It held a contest for teenage girls who competed to be the German town’s new Waging angel. Their hope is that the young angel will attract more holiday shoppers and tourists than their old, reliable St. Nick did. During each of the five previous Christmas seasons that Food Safety News has been around, we’ve established publishing “Naughty and Nice” lists as one of our traditions. We’ve used the annual Naughty and Nice lists to call for extra recognition for those individuals who’ve done more or less for food safety than might be expected. A lot about the Santa Claus story has evolved over the years. His bright red-on-white dress first appeared in a Coca-Cola advertisement that brightened up a Great Depression-era Christmas. Before that, Santa’s colors were blue, green, brown and gold. Like Santa adopting those colors from Coke, he picked up the Naughty and Nice list from Nordic folk stories about a magician who rewarded good children while punishing the bad. What this teaches us is that you don’t want to make wholesale changes in your Christmas traditions, but tweaks are acceptable. For our first five years, nominations for both the Naughty and Nice lists came entirely from the news and editorial staff of Food Safety News. Either because he’s grown weary of our humor, or because he truly is a populist man of the people and friend to all, our publisher has suggested we open the nomination process to all Food Safety News readers. So here’s the deal: If you wish to make one or more nominations to the Food Safety News Naughty or Nice lists for 2014, simply email me at We publish the lists on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so the sooner you send me your suggestions, the more likely they will be included. The key consideration is how the individual (preferred) or organization helped or harmed food safety during the year. For reference, here are the Naughty and Nice lists from last year. We wish Waging’s new town angel all the best. We just would never go that far.