Monday, September 21, 2009

One Stop Shop For Food Safety News

I need to catch up with Bill Marler. He's been busy!
He and his group just debuted a new food safety site, intended to be a one-stop shop for food safety news:

Coincidentally, the government just revamped their food safety site:

This is going to be challenging for the government because the responsibility for food safety is distributed among many departments and agencies. For example:
  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for chicken.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for whole eggs from chickens.
  • The USDA is responsible for processed eggs from chickens.
  • The USDA regulates cheese pizza.
  • The FDA regulates pepperoni pizza.
  • The USDA regulates open-faced sandwiches.
  • The FDA regulates closed-faced sandwiches.
The government's "Gateway to Federal Food Safety Information" is going to require a good dose of coordination to be effective.

Also, while the government may be privy to recall information sooner than the general public, they aren't always as forthcoming with that knowledge. This summer, bloggers (including Marler who blogs at Marler Blog) beat the USDA to posting lists of retail establishments that received JBS Swift recalled meat.

For the week or so I've been watching these vying sites, I've noticed Marler's Food Safety News is updated more often, at least daily, and is markedly more sophisticated. Where is maintaining links to proper storage and cooking temperatures (and hasn't changed their graphics from day one yet), is posting interviews with political (Richard Raymond: Former Under Secretary For Food Safety Speaks Up) and academic (Marion Nestle: Q&A: Marion Nestle on Food Safety Politics) insiders.

There's a niche for both of them, but I'll be hitting more often.

See what you think.


Bill Marler said...

Personally, I love Food Safety News - ha ha.....

Bix said...

You're biased :)

If that was my labor of love, I'd be proud.