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Food Marketing Institute

Opinion

Correction:  When originally posted, we inadvertently included the $700 billion for SNAP, which is a ten-year estimate, not an annual figure.  SNAP’s annual cost, as of 2016, was $71 billion, meaning the 1 percent fraud rate translates into $710 million annually, and the 7 billion is the ten year figure.  We’ve made the necessary changes.

When they asked American bank robber Willie Sutton why he robbed banks, Sutton’s straightforward reply was: “Because that’s where the money is.”

The answer would mainly be the same if we asked why USDA’s $71 billion food stamp program is so often the
Continue Reading Letter from the Editor: FOIA exemption will keep cash payments secret, not more secure

Opinion
The FMI Food Safety Program supports the food retail industry in selling safe food to loyal customers every day. FMI has several member committees dedicated to food safety and the technical staff offers expertise, 24/7 crisis support and comprehensive food safety training programs for member companies. Last year, FMI members focused on Listeria prevention, cleaning and sanitation resources, and traceability technologies to advance food safety. The year ended up being a challenging one with a series of devastating foodborne outbreaks to hit retailers and our communities.

As the FMI Food Protection Committee (FPC) looked at initiatives for 2019, public


Continue Reading Leafy greens, ground beef among top FMI 2019 food safety initiatives

Al Almanza and Carmen Rottenberg are keeping the coffee hot at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) but they are not getting many takers during this transition in government period.

officecoffeestation_406x250Almanza, the acting deputy undersecretary for USDA’s food safety office who also doubles as FSIS administrator, and Rottenberg, who has moved up to FSIS deputy administrator after being chief of staff and COO at the agency, did host meetings on food safety initiatives of interest to the retail industry and another on whole bird testing.

Almanza and Rottenberg met with Hilary Thesmar with the Food
Continue Reading Not a lot of outsider demand for meetings with “acting” agency heads

While the Food Safety Modernization Act doesn’t require transparency, it encourages it, but equally important for food manufacturers, consumers are increasingly demanding traceability. “Companies are under pressure from consumers, as trust is the lowest it’s ever been,” said John Keogh, president and principal advisor, Shantalla Inc., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. “Trust can be lost at the click of a mouse due to online conversations.” In the age of social media, food manufacturers have to be doubly cognizant of how their brands are perceived by consumers. Because today’s ground meat filler is tomorrow’s pink slime.   No. 3 NexTec series art “Consumers want transparency on
Continue Reading Public demands what feds suggest: Traceability via food labels

Reducing food waste could boil down to a mathematical equation as software developers decipher details to help food producers, retailers and foodservice operators solve the problem with data. logo-NexTec-series-1Q-2016 The scope of the problem is clear, with Americans tossing out the equivalent of $165 billion in food every year, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. This past fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its plan to help businesses and consumers cut food waste in half by 2030. The plan is to educate consumers about food date labels and safe food storage, and to work with
Continue Reading Do the math: Manage food waste with measurements

A recent survey of 5,000 consumers nationwide that asked about food buying decisions showed changing attitudes about food safety. People still want toxin-free and pathogen-free food, but they also want more transparency from food producers and retailers about those and other food safety issues, according to the 2015 Food Value Equation Survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Deloitte consumer survey
A survey of 5,000 consumers by Deloitte Consulting LLP shows strong interest in food safety as a determining factor in food purchases.
Deloitte partnered with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) for the survey. In
Continue Reading Consumer survey shows changing definition of food safety

Only two more Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules remain to be finalized. Final rules for Sanitary Transportation and Intentional Adulteration are due out next spring. But with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) release last week of final FSMA rules on Produce Safety, Foreign Supplier Verification, and Accredited Third Party Verification, long-sought reform has become reality. It was a different time in 2010 when a bipartisan Congress adopted the biggest change in food safety regulation in the past century. But “making it so” has consumed five years. All the FSMA rule-making has seen extensive public involvement, and some
Continue Reading Letter From the Editor: A ‘Herculean Accomplishment’

With food waste and ugly food making headlines again in recent weeks, we wanted to give you a reminder of what food date labels actually mean. The key takeaway is that a “best-by” or “sell-by” date is not an expiration date and doesn’t necessarily mean that the safety of the food product declines after that date. All the date labels come from the manufacturer and are aimed at different audiences. BestBy_406x250A “best-by” or “use-by” date is guidance for consumers to get the best experience of the product, says David Fikes, vice president of Consumer/Community Affairs and Communications for the Food
Continue Reading How to Use the ‘Best-By’ Dates on Your Food