USDA, HHS Highlight Food Safety in Report

Food Safety Working Group chairs Vilsack and Sebelius talk about achievements.

Published on: Dec 22, 2011

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have issued a progress report highlighting the accomplishments and strategies of President Obama's Food Safety Working Group combined with useful information for consumers on safe food handling. The group was formed in 2009 and is chaired by Vilsack and Sebelius.

Using a three dimensional approach of prevention, surveillance and response, FSWG member departments and agencies share information and experience about all aspects of food safety which strengthens the scientific and technical infrastructure to support a modern food safety system. The Secretaries report that by clarifying responsibilities and improving accountability, the FSWG has already made great strides to strengthen the nation's food safety system.

"As families across the country share in this holiday season, it is important to reiterate our commitment to protecting the food supply and our desire to remain vigilant to protect the American people," said Secretary Vilsack.  "We have taken a number of steps to improve the safety of America's meat and poultry supply in recent years and the President's Food Safety Working Group has proven to be a vital component to our work."

Building on those achievements, the FSWG will continue to strengthen the food safety system through increased prevention, enhanced surveillance, and faster response.

"We have the safest food supply in the world, but we can always do more to protect consumers," Sebelius said. "The best way to ensure food safety is by building prevention into our food safety system, and we will take another step in that direction when the Food and Drug Administration issues proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act."

The FSWG also plans to continue its efforts to improve food safety by collaborating more with state and local health and agriculture agencies, and food producers, as well as providing education to consumers. Fostering outreach and maintaining strong partnerships at the state and local levels will further sustain and enhance our food system.

To view the Food Safety Working Group report, click HERE.