Home > Transparency Posts > Talking Food Safety in Minneapolis

Talking Food Safety in Minneapolis

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s not every day that I have a chance to see first-hand what companies are doing to strengthen their food safety preventive practices, but that’s just what happened on a recent trip to Minneapolis. The facility tour we took is part of FDA’s continuing effort to hear from all stakeholders on the best ways for us to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

I was joined by several FDA colleagues working hard on implementing the new food safety law, as well as the commissioner and assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the department’s director of the division of dairy and food inspection, and the chief science officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

We met with company executives, plant and shift managers, and those responsible for the safety of our food on a day-to-day basis. A key take away message from our interactions: food safety is a journey that requires sustained leadership and commitment.

We learned about how individual companies have evolved their food safety programs over the past few years. We heard about what works and what challenges they face. We looked at how they verify their suppliers are providing safe products, when and how they conduct environmental monitoring, and how they train employees. All of these efforts are important in preventive control programs. The companies we visited had a lot of experience with preventive controls and are continually improving their systems. The significance of FSMA is that, now, preventive controls will be the norm across the industry.

In two days, we visited Cargill Kitchen Solutions, a marketer of processed liquid and cooked egg products; a Land-O-Lakes feed mill that manufactures feed for a variety of different animal species; a General Mills plant that produces baked goods; Buddy’s Kitchen, a smaller enterprise that prepares ready-to-eat entrees and sandwiches; and a Malt-O-Meal plant that manufactures dry cereal. In the evening we joined a consortium of Minnesota industry leaders and state representatives for a lively dinner that provided additional opportunity for us to hear thoughts on FSMA and food safety.

We saw on our visit to Minnesota the kind of leadership and management commitment to food safety that is the essential foundation for success in providing consumers the safest possible food supply.

Michael R. Taylor
Deputy Commissioner for Foods

  1. Doug Millington
    November 9, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Food safety is something consumers take for granted but it’s good to see the FDA watching our backs and taking proactive measures to make sure that all along the food chain food safety is a top priority.

  2. Nadav
    November 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    It’s great to see the FDA doing so much to keep us safe. I hope the tour was successful, and it showed that companies are following your directions to keep us healthy.


  3. Seo
    November 24, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Food safety is paramount in the eyes of the consumer. Great to see you guys getting out of the office and seeing what manufacturers in the food chain are doing to maximise food safety.

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  5. Bill
    December 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    My site deals wit self healing but I am always glad to see the FDA working with and learning from the the real world side of of health safety. Food safety is often neglected but a very important part of our society. Good work. The more you prevent the less you need to treat.

  6. Toni Scott
    December 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    As a personal chef, I’m glad to see the FDA is on top of food safety issues in our country. Food safety is something most consumers take for granted. We can be safe in our kitchens, but we have no control over what happens to the food before it gets in our shopping bags.

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    December 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

    It’s great to see such a strong emphasis on food safety in Minneapolis; food poisoning is a serious concern and can be dangerous if not addressed properly.

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    Food Safety Standards were developed to provide more effective and nationally uniform food safety

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    December 3, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Talk about food safety is related to a lot of people. It is also a very important part. Not a few people who fall ill from infections through food. Therefore, food safety is very important.

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    August 12, 2014 at 12:21 am

    It seems as though the risks to health keep rising everyday. Someone overseeing this area is vital and co-operation with industry leaders is the ideal way to improve the processing practices.

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