Dr. Elisabeth Hagen Addresses Beef Safety Summit Participants USDA under secretary promotes science to protect customers. Published on: Mar 3, 2011 Tweet Post to Your Wall. Email Story RSS Permalink Print "Food safety is something we need to tackle together," Dr. Elisabeth Hagen told more than 240 food safety experts and beef industry leaders attending the 9th Annual Beef Industry Safety Summit in Dallas March 2. Hagen, the USDA under secretary for food safety, said "science, data and research are the best tools we have to protect consumers," and asked for the industry's help and commitment in making that happen. Summit participants meet through March 4 to discuss research and develop plans for improving beef safety and addressing safety challenges, such as E. coli, that threaten public health. Since 2003, participants in the Beef Industry Safety Summit, funded in part by the beef checkoff, have worked to share solutions for existing and developing beef safety issues.