Dear Ms. Entis:
Thank you for your March 17, 2009, electronic message to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) providing information related to enhancing food safety and offering assistance, in an advisory capacity, to enhance our nation's food safety system. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been asked to respond.
FSIS is the public health regulatory agency in the USDA responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled. FSIS enforces the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act, which require federal inspection and regulation of meat, poultry, and processed egg products prepared for distribution in commerce for use as human food.
President Obama has directed USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to improve and modernize the food safety system and ensure that federal agencies' food safety activities are integrated more effectively. As you may be aware, the President's new Food Safety Working Group (FSWG), is chaired by the USDA Secretary, along with the HHS Secretary, and includes other agencies and senior officials who will advise the President on ways to upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century, foster coordination throughout government, and ensure that the laws that will keep the American people safe are enforced.
You may be interested to know that the FSWG has launched a Web site, www.foodsafetyworkinggroup.gov that allows for continuing comments from the public. We encourage you to use that tool to have a dialogue with the FSWG as the work of the group continues to evolve.
Thank you again for the information that you provided and your interest in enhancing food safety.
Bruce G. Bundick
Office of the Executive Secretariat
I would like to thank USDA and the Obama Administration for their timely and substantive response to my list of suggestions, which I submitted via the Food Safety Working Group website on March 17, 2009.