At two town hall meetings in Minnesota this week with Food Safety and Inspection Service employees, I had the pleasure of unveiling a new plan for food safety over the next five years. I’m very excited about our new Strategic Plan for FY 2011 through FY 2016, which will serve as the agency’s roadmap to ensuring that food produced under FSIS’ authority is safe for the American public.
This Strategic Plan should allow every single person in FSIS to have a direct line of sight between what they do every day and our objectives, and each of us should see ourselves as accountable to the public for protecting them from foodborne illnesses. We are putting forward detailed strategies and measureable tactics to reduce foodborne illness and chart our progress over the next five years, so this will serve as a foundation document for both the long-range and day-to-day operations of the Agency. Read more »
More than 200 employees and community members gathered at USDA headquarters to mark the Department’s 3rd annual Iftar dinner. The theme of the evening was food safety, and Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, provided keynote remarks.
Last week we were honored to host USDA’s 3rd annual Iftar commemorating the month of Ramadan and the contributions of USDA’s Muslim employees. More than 200 attendees, including USDA employees, Muslim community members, and representatives from faith-based and secular non-profit organizations, gathered at USDA headquarters for an evening with a themed focus on “Food and Faith: Setting a Safe and Healthy Table.” Read more »
One of the things I started to do when I became Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA was to hold town hall meetings with Food Safety and Inspection Service field staff and Administrator Al Almanza. This week I had the pleasure of holding such a meeting with our headquarters staff in Washington.
I began the town hall meeting by asking a question: How many people in this country get sick every year from the food they eat? The answer is 48 million people – 1 in every 6 people. Of those, 128,000 will be hospitalized and 3,000 will die from something as basic as the food they eat. That’s a major public health issue, and the work we do is all about bringing those numbers down. Read more »
On Friday, members from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as well as members of veterinarian organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), joined at the Jefferson Auditorium in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the first veterinary school in Lyon, France, in 1761. FSIS is the largest employer of veterinarians worldwide and with APHIS at number two, it only made sense that USDA acknowledge these individuals in a meaningful way. FSIS and APHIS held an opening ceremony and I was fortunate enough to deliver remarks on behalf of FSIS alongside Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Ron DeHaven, Executive Vice President, AVMA, and Dr. John Clifford, Chief Veterinary Officer, APHIS. This morning’s presentations may be found here. Read more »
U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting an event at headquarters and inviting top ranking Hispanic Leaders.
WASHINGTON, DC – On September 16th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting an event at headquarters and inviting top ranking Hispanic Leaders. The theme for the 2010 National Hispanic Heritage Month is “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity, and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America”. Read more »