food safety

Tag archives for food safety

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.

A couple years ago, two public health researchers attended a hearing about the possible expansion of an industrial food animal production facility. During the hearing, a community member stood up to say that if the expansion posed any hazards, the health department would surely be there to protect the people. The two researchers knew that probably wasn’t the case.

A few recent pieces worth a look

Is USDA serious? Inspecting a chicken in 1/3 of a second?

An animation created by the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards shows us the speed at which the USDA is proposing for its inspectors to find fecal contamination on poultry carcasses.

To the long list of hard-to-pronounce bacteria and viruses that threaten people’s health can now be added one more threat: sequestration. Except sequestration isn’t a disease — well, unless you’d call Congress’ chronic inability to deal with the national debt in a fair and balanced way a disease.

Public health officials urge USDA to withdraw plan to “modernize” poultry inspection, worker and food safety will suffer

The Obama Administration’s quest to appease businesses’ claims about burdensome regulations awoke a giant in the form of the civil rights, public health and workers’ safety communities. From the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Council of LaRaza, to the American Public Health Association, the feedback on USDA’s proposal to “modernize” the poultry inspection process is loud and clear: scrap the idea because faster line speeds will take a grave toll on poultry plant workers.

by Kim Krisberg Walking around a public health laboratory is seriously cool. Giant humming machines, rows of test tubes and small, round dishes containing specimens with hard-to-pronounce names, biohazard warnings and emergency shower stations, an egg incubator and liquid nitrogen generator, people in protective gear with bulky white hoods and face shields. Oh, and boxes…

by Elizabeth Grossman On Sunday August 21, a cleaning process designed to make tomatoes safe for customers eating marinara sauce, pizza topping, and canned tomatoes resulted in a release of chlorine dioxide gas that sent 43 workers at the Pacific Coast Producers plant in Woodland, California to area hospitals. According to Pacific Coast Producers vice…

As debt-ceiling negotiations continue and members of both parties express a desire for “leaner” government, James Kwak at The Atlantic offers an important reminder: Measuring the size of the US government by how much money it spends can be misleading. Social Security and Medicare, both of which are extremely popular, account for a huge chunk…