Today, I am in Athens, Georgia, visiting the University of Georgia (UGA) and meeting with university leaders, faculty, and students to learn about the great work being done here to advance agriculture and solve some of our most pressing challenges.
NIFA has a long history of investing in agricultural science, and for much of the research it takes years to see the payoff. I’d like to highlight two projects at the University of Georgia NIFA has funded that are seeing real outcomes today. Read more »
Cross posted from Food Safety News:
My passion for public health stems from my career as an infectious disease doctor, watching families cope with the heartbreak caused by preventable diseases, including foodborne illness. I know what it feels like to explain to a husband in shock that the reason his wife is on life support is because of something she ate that was contaminated with a deadly pathogen.
Now, I am the Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In my current role, I oversee dedicated USDA inspectors, scientists, veterinarians, and numerous other personnel who protect food that we eat every day. There is nothing more fundamental than being able to feed your own family a meal that will not make you sick, or worse, put you in the hospital.
I understand that there has been a lot of confusion about a proposal by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to modernize inspection at poultry slaughter plants.
I would like to try to eliminate that confusion. Read more »
Colorized SEM (scanning electron micrograph) of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enteritidis. Photo by Jean Guard, ARS.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.
When it comes to microorganisms that contaminate our foods, you may think it’s a veritable jungle out there—but in fact, in the United States, most of the illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths caused by foodborne pathogens come down to 14 bad players. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack believes there is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers, and there is no mission more important to USDA than ensuring the safety of our food. Prevention is our single greatest priority here, so this week the Department announced new performance standards aimed at reducing the occurrence of Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria in chickens and turkeys. Within two years of implementing these standards, approximately 5,000 cases of Campylobacter illnesses and 20,000 cases of Salmonella illnesses will be prevented annually.
While the poultry industry has made significant strides in recent years, far too many Americans continue to fall victim to these foodborne illnesses – FSIS estimates nearly 350,000 from Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry annually, combined. These improved standards will drive the industry to do better. They are tough but achievable. And when fully implemented, they can help us lower the danger of foodborne illness.
Written by Lisa Wallenda Picard, Food Safety and Inspection Service
Last night, USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a recall of frozen ground beef products. Working closely with our partners at California’s Department of Public Health, investigators were able to connect several illness with products sold. Because E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium, USDA is asking consumers to check their freezer and immediately discard any product that is the subject of this recall. Read more »