In the news


Secretary Perdue Announces FSIS Key Leadership

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced two appointments: Rottenberg has been named the Administrator of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Kiecker the Deputy Administrator. “Providing all Americans access to a safe and secure food supply is one of USDA’s critical missions,” said Secretary Perdue. “Carmen and Paul have been instrumental in carrying out this mission and will continue to lead FSIS in their new roles.” @


Fipronil residues in eggs

The detection of fipronil residues in eggs by Belgian authorities in July 2017 led to millions of eggs being recalled from the market in the European Union (EU). The fipronil residues detected in eggs was due to misuse of non-approved veterinary medicinal products in poultry farms against red mites. As a result, an ad-hoc monitoring program was established in the EU. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its report. The report summarizes the data obtained from 1 September 2017 to 30 November 2017. A total of 5,439 samples were submitted to EFSA, covering in total 53,655 individual samples. These samples include 742 samples contained residues exceeding the legal limit (i.e. above the Maximum Residue Level (MRL)). Samples that exceeded the MRL were almost exclusively related to fipronil and were associated with unprocessed chicken eggs (601 samples), fat of laying hens (134 samples), muscle of laying hens (5 samples) and dried egg powder (2 samples). Samples that exceeded the legal limit originated from the Netherlands (664 samples), Italy (40 samples), Germany (13 samples), Poland (11 samples), Hungary (6 samples), France (5 samples), Slovenia (2 samples) and Greece (1 sample). @


Hepatitis A in the News throughout the country

In March 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A. Since then, at least 1,200 cases have been reported, and more than 40 people have died of hepatitis A, the highly contagious liver infection. The CDC is no longer posting information on a regular basis, instead of leaving outbreak updates to individual states. Few headlines include: “KY hepatitis A outbreak kills 3 people, hospitalizes hundreds” “20th death reported in San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak” “Michigan posts 25th hepatitis A death.” On May 4, the Indiana State Department of Health posted an outbreak update reporting 91 confirmed cases, with a 48 percent hospitalization rate. Hepatitis A is most commonly spread when a person eats or drinks something contaminated with microscopic traces of fecal matter from an infected person. @

Editor’s note: This is the main story of a two-piece news package we are presenting today. The companion story includes additional information about Hepatitis A and a state-by-state breakdown of Hepatitis A cases. Most case counts in both stories are as of April 30. However, some of the main outbreak states have since updated their counts,… Continue Reading


Mindy Brashears Nominated to Fill USDA Food Safety Leadership Role

Mindy Brashears a professor of food microbiology and food safety and the director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University was selected by President Trump to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for Food Safety. “Food safety is at the core of USDA’s mission, because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans every day,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “President Trump has made an excellent choice in Dr. Mindy Brashears, and I am excited to have her join the team. “Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through innovation, invention, and leadership on research missions across the globe,” he continued. “I look forward to her bringing that wealth of expertise and track record of results here to USDA. @

President Trump this week selected Mindy Brashears to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for Food Safety, reports the National Pork Producers Council.