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U.S. consumers want convenience, choice, and diversity in the foods they eat. The U.S. is importing more food than ever before to meet these demands. Food production has become more globalized and the route it takes from farm to table is more complex. Much of our food now takes a longer and more complicated path from the farm to our table. And yet, most Americans purchase food for their family’s dinner table with a high level of assurance that the food is safe. Much of the effort for securing the U.S. food supply rests on the work of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FSIS is the public health regulatory agency responsible for the safety of the U.S. meat, poultry, and processed egg products supply. For over a century, the agency has worked to ensure that America’s food is safe from contamination. The vital services of FSIS have touched the lives of almost every citizen, every day in America. FSIS is accountable for protecting food for over 300 million American people and millions more around the world.
What are the strategic priorities of the USDA’s Food and Inspection Service? How is FSIS ensuring this country’s food is safe and uncontaminated? Alfred Almanza, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture joined me on The Business of Government Hour to share his insights on these topics and more. The following is an edited excerpt of our discussion complemented with additional research.