In March, when Mindy M. Brashears became the fifth Senate-confirmed USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety and Paul Kiecker moved up to be theUSDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator, it’s likely neither could have imaged the meat industry crisis that was in store for them.

But just as former
Continue Reading Rottenberg’s last 6 months were busy, and were over before the storm

Some big money in Washington D.C. can be found at boutique K Street lobbying firms. Nobody knows that better than Randy Russell, president of the Russel Group, which for 40 years has worked the halls of Congress, mostly on behalf of agricultural interests.  Russell is known for generating and retaining
Continue Reading Veteran lobbyist joins former USDA food safety leader to form new venture

Carmen Rottenberg, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service administrator is leaving the government after two decades of federal service.  Rottenberg, an attorney, is moving to the private sector.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of Paul Kiecker to serve the FSIS Administrator. Kiecker will be assuming
Continue Reading Paul Kiecker succeeds Carmen Rottenberg as FSIS Administrator

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service rolled out a new annual plan at a meeting in Austin with small meat and poultry operators. Mindy Brashears, USDA’s deputy undersecretary for food safety, described a sort of stream of consciousness in producing the new plan.

“I sat down in December, and I
Continue Reading Brashears begins her second year as deputy undersecretary with new plan for FSIS

Each member of the triumvirate responsible for food safety at USDA brings something unique to the department’s leadership. Deputy Under Secretary Mindy Brashears is a top food scientist. FSIS Administrator Carmen Rottenberg is an experienced government lawyer. And Deputy FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker has, during the past 30 years, held
Continue Reading USDA’s food safety triumvirate had a lot of visitors this past year

Business establishments it regulates, foreign trade partners, and academic and educational organizations were among those outside the federal government who met with USDA’s food safety executives so far this summer.

The public calendar from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows meetings held
Continue Reading No summer slow down for those with agendas for USDA food safety leaders

Amos Miller and Miller’s Organic Farm must appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn Heffley on July 18 for a settlement conference about whether the operation is subject to federal food safety laws, according to court documents.

Miller and Miller’s Organic Farm, based in Bird-in-Hand, PA, were named on April 4
Continue Reading Government going for settlement with Amos Miller and Miller’s Organic Farm

Since Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue named Mindy Brashears Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, the former Texas Tech University food safety professor is finding herself in demand.

Perdue named Brashears to the post on Jan. 28 so she could work at USDA while continuing to wait for the U.S.
Continue Reading USDA food safety official reports first meetings with people outside federal government

Contamination by “extraneous materials” has become enough of a problem that USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is out with some new friendly advice to food producers on the issue.

Since this year began, FSIS-regulated companies have recalled 180 tons of meat and poultry products for “extraneous materials.” Recalls
Continue Reading FSIS tells meat and poultry industry how to handle customer complaints