Hormel, Pilgrim’s Pride and Beef Products Inc. were three companies providing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service with a personal update during February. A delegation from each company met with acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg and acting FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker.
The FSIS reported the meetings its February public calendar. Meetings involving FSIS’s top officials with people outside the federal government are included on the public schedule, but it contains little detail.
Jeff Grev, Hormel’s vice president for legislative affairs, and lobbyist Randy Russell of the Russell Group met with the FSIS leaders on Feb. 13 for a company update.
Lobbyist Chandler Keys of the Keys Group and Bill Lovette with Pilgrim’s Pride met with Rottenberg and Kiecker on Feb. 23, also for a company update.
Keys was back on Feb. 27 with BPI executives Eldon Roth, Nick Roth, Rich Locham and Craig Letch. It was likely BPI’s first meeting with top federal officials since the Dakota Dunes-SD company last summer settled its historic libel lawsuit with ABC News.
The FSIS public calendar also reported on Feb. 7 meetings with the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF); Alabama Contract Poultry Growers, National Growers Association, American GrassFed Associaton, Humane Society of the United States, and several individual farmers.
Rottenberg also heard an update on the casing industry from Barbara Negron with the North American Natural Casing Associaton and Eric Svendson with International Casing.
Rottenberg and Kiecker conducted regular monthly meetings on Feb. 27 with industry representatives and on Feb. 28 with consumer groups.
Rottenberg and Kiecker are serving in their positions temporarily until the Trump Administration makes permanent appointments. The law requires the president to appoint the USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety who begins service upon confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)