food safety

Tag archives for food safety

Reality check on USDA’s claims about its plan to privatize poultry inspection

The wisdom of USDA’s plan to privatize poultry inspection is striking newspaper editors as an unwise move. USDA is rebutting the opinion pieces, but their assertions need a dose of reality.

There are few factors that shape a person’s health as strongly and predictably as income. And while enforcing wage and labor laws may at first seem outside the purview of public health agencies, Rajiv Bhatia adamantly disagrees. In fact, he says that public health may wield the most persuasive stick in town.

As Americans prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and the White House gets ready for President Obama to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a Rose Garden ceremony on Wednesday November 27 that will “reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving,” let us take a moment to reflect upon the welfare of the men and women…

How much more evidence does Secretary Vilsack need before he scraps the USDA’s ill-conceived proposal to “modernize” the poultry slaughter inspection process?

Senator Gillibrand introduces “Safe Meat & Poultry Act,” recognizes hazards for plant workers

Senator Gillibrand’s “Safe Meat & Poultry Act” includes one short provision that really caught my eye. USDA would need to rely on OSHA’s determination on what is an appropriate line speed to ensure the health of plant workers is protected.

Do you want overworked inspectors in charge of your meat’s safety?

Some USDA meat and poultry inspectors work many hours of overtime. USDA insists it doesn’t affect their critical food safety responsibilities.

“If we could get growers to comply with the law, that would revolutionize agriculture in this country,” said United Farm Workers (UFW) national vice president Erik Nicholson explaining the circumstances that led to the creation of the Equitable Food Initiative.

For many migrant farmworkers, the health risks don’t stop at the end of the workday. After long, arduous hours in the field, many will return to a home that also poses dangers to their well-being. And quite ironically for a group of workers that harvests our nation’s food, one of those housing risks is poor cooking and eating facilities.

After nearly three decades as a USDA food safety inspector, Stan Painter tells me he now feels like “window dressing standing at the end of the line as product whizzes by.”

How will USDA respond to environmental justice concerns for poultry plant workers?

I’m eager to see how USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack responds to the environmental justice concerns raised about the Food Safety Inspection Services’ proposed regulation on poultry plant inspections.