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Posts tagged: Dr. Elisabeth Hagen

Found a Problem With Your Food? USDA Wants To Know About It

Have you ever opened a package from the grocery store to find that something wasn’t right about it, and then wondered who to call to report a problem?  The company’s toll-free number? The grocery store that sold it? Or someone else? If that product involves meat, poultry, or a processed egg product, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service just made it easier consumers to alert the agency to food safety problems, any time of the day or night.

The Electronic Consumer Complaint Form (ECCF), which became available on FSIS’s website this morning, will allow consumers to submit the important information FSIS needs to begin an investigation in just six steps. Consumers will be requested to provide details on:

  • When and where the product was purchased;
  • When and how the problem was noticed;
  • And how the agency can contact you for more information. Personal information is optional and will be used solely for the agency’s investigative purposes and product tracking. Read more »

It’s National Food Safety Education Month! Chat with Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety on Twitter

Click for larger image.

Most people reading this probably have heard the statistic by now that one in six Americans, or 48 million people, is expected to get sick from foodborne illness each year.  You also probably have a lot of questions about what federal public health agencies are doing to prevent those illnesses, and what precautions you can take to further protect yourself and your family. Read more »

Extending the Public Comment Period for USDA’s Proposal to Modernize Poultry Slaughter

Today, USDA announced an extension to the public comment period for a proposed rule that would modernize the poultry slaughter inspection system.  This new plan would provide us with the opportunity to protect consumers from unsafe food more effectively.  We recognize that this proposal would represent a significant change from the current system and has sparked a debate on how poultry is inspected.  We also value the different opinions being expressed about the proposal and have extended the public comment period to ensure all sides are presented in this debate.

It may surprise you to learn that the USDA has been inspecting poultry in largely the same way since the 1950’s.  So, while our scientific knowledge of what causes foodborne illness has evolved, our inspection process has not been updated to reflect this new information. Under this modernization proposal, significant public health benefits will be achieved and foodborne illness will be prevented by focusing our inspectors attention on activities that will better ensure the safety of the poultry you and your family enjoy. Read more »

Setting the Record Straight on Beef

As the head of USDA’s public health agency, I am responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe for American families. I approach this role not only as a food safety expert and a physician, but also as a mother. And I want to address the national conversation over the last few weeks about the safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB).

I believe it is important to distinguish people’s concerns about how their food is made from their concerns about food safety. The process used to produce LFTB is safe and has been used for a very long time.  And adding LFTB to ground beef does not make that ground beef any less safe to consume.  Read more »

Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Special holiday series – Blog 5 of 5

Over the past week, Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and I have provided low-cost recipes incorporating simple food safety tips to help you prepare healthy and safe holiday meals. So far, we’ve posted recipes for turkey, stuffing, baked apples and sweet potatoes, and green beans. For the final blog in this series, we’re focusing on pumpkin pie, one of the mainstays of holiday meals. Like other holiday treats containing eggs, pumpkin pie filling can be messy to prepare and may lead to foodborne illness if not done carefully. This pumpkin pie recipe incorporates food safety tips at every step from mixing to storing leftovers. If you have further concerns about cooking with eggs this holiday season, this fact sheet should be really helpful. Additionally, I invite you to call USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m EST, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST on Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Read more »

Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Special holiday series – Blog 1 of 5

As we look forward to spending the holidays with friends and family and making meals and memories together, we all want to put good food on the table and do it safely.  We especially want to keep the threat of food poisoning at bay.  Over the next few days, we will share some delicious low-cost holiday recipes with some simple food safety tips to help you prepare healthy and safe holiday meals. The first recipe below talks about preparing and cooking a turkey safely. Recipes to follow will include Grandma’s Stuffing, Baked Apples and Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Sauté, and Crunchy Pumpkin Pie.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season! Read more »