It looks like top officials at both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have fallen behind in the transparency department. Both FSIS and FDA have routinely published, after-the-fact, the calendars of their top officials, showing who they’ve been meeting with outside the federal government  This year, however, both agencies are tardy in making those meetings public. whos-at-the-table-with-FDA-FSISThe last FSIS calendar off meetings to be published was for January, and the last FDA public calendar was for a period ending Jan. 2, 2016.  A year earlier, both agencies were posting the calendars within about a month of when meetings were actually held. Neither has indicated why they’ve fallen behind this year. Al Almanza, who is both the acting administrator of FSIS and USDA’s deputy under secretary for food safety, did lead a crowded agency meeting with representatives of the Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill and Seattle’s IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group. It occurred Jan. 14, almost a month after Chipotle lawyers wrote the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to complain about public disclosures made by the agency in one of the six food borne illness outbreaks the restaurant chain was involved in during the last half of 2015. At the meeting with Almanza from Chipotle were: Steve Ells, chairman and co-chief executive; Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer; Chris Arnold, communications director; and Heidi Wederquist, director of QA & food safety-supply chain. They were joined by Mansour Samadpour, president and chief executive for IEH, and a Chipotle consultant. Almanza was backed up at the meeting by the following FSIS personnel: Philip Derfler, deputy administrator; and assistant administrators William “Bill” Smith, Carl Mayes, Daniel Engeljohn, David Goldman, and Carol Blake. Also attending from the government were Jane Doherty, a government executive for international coordination and Adam Tarr, chief of staff for the Office of Food Safety. As for what was discussed, no details were provided On the same day, Almanza held separate meetings with consumer and industry groups. The  Chipotle meeting with top FSIS officials came in the immediate aftermath of a half dozen food borne outbreaks involving the fast casual restaurant chain during the last half of 2015.   These included: Seattle — E. coli O157:H7, July 2015, five sick people, source unknown; Simi Valley, Calif. — Norovirus, August 2015, 234 people, source was sick employee; Minnesota — Salmonella Newport, August and September 2015, 64 sick people, source was tomatoes but it remains unclear  at what point in the field-to-fork chain the pathogen was introduced; Nine states — E. coli O26, began October 2015 and declared over Feb. 1, 55 sick people, source unknown, states involved are California, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington; and Three states — E. coli O26, began December 2015 declared over Feb. 1, five sick people, source unknown, states involved are Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska; and closing out in Boston — Norovirus in December, 151 sickened. On April 15 the CDC fired back a letter to Chipotle taking strong exception to the chain’s claim that there had been any reporting misfires. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)