Food safety secretary leaving USDA

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, November 15, 2013 - USDA's Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen announced today that she will be leaving the USDA for the private sector in mid-December.

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Since August 2010, Hagen oversaw the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at USDA.

“It has been an ambitious three years,” she said in a released statement. “USDA and FSIS have successfully made preventing foodborne illness a real priority. The steps we have taken, from modernizing the agency, strengthening oversight of industry and increasing outreach to consumers has led to safer food and fewer foodborne illnesses.”

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized changes made under Hagen's leadership, including the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy for additional strains of E. coli in beef and new standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry.

“She also spearheaded the effort to develop a new Public Health Information System to better inform consumers about proper food handling and food safety, to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses,” he said. “I'm proud of our record under the Obama Administration to ensure a safe food supply for Americans, and Under Secretary Hagen has played a key role in those efforts. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

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