U.S. Department of Agriculture

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science and efficient management. USDA's virtual representative, "Ask Karen," is available at AskKaren.gov. Food safety coaches are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on the "Ask Karen Chat" and by phone at the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day.

Latest Articles

Contributed Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission. Dr. Gregory McDermott protects the public’s health here in America and in Afghanistan. He completes this task by wearing two hats — one as a supervisory public health veterinarian (SPHV) in the Philadelphia district and the other as a Lieutenant Colonel and brigade veterinarian in the…
Contributed Editor’s note: An ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Reading traced to raw turkey has sickened at least 164 people across 35 states, hospitalizing dozens and killing one person. The outbreak patients report links to raw turkey, but there is concern that other consumers may have purchased raw turkey in advance and frozen it for use during the holidays. The below steps for safe thawing are from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The USDA…
Contributed At this time of year, many community groups, volunteer organizations, work places and other groups celebrate Thanksgiving with a potluck meal. When cooking for a large group, it is important to keep in mind the needs of your guests. Do any of your guests have food allergies or dietary restrictions? Could some be at higher risk for foodborne illness because they may be transplant recipients, cancer patients or diabetics? Pregnant women and seniors are…
Contributed Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission. Keeping the public safe from foodborne illness will always be a top priority for FSIS employees. Paul Moede, a consumer safety inspector (CSI) in Green Bay, WI, follows the Agency’s mission — protecting the public’s health from foodborne illness — as a guide every day.…
Dr. Adanetch Gebreselassie’s interest in public health began when she was nine years old. She credits her father, Dr. Gebreselassie Okubagzhi, an epidemiologist and a public health officer with the World Bank, for igniting that spark. “His specialty was HIV/AIDS, and I saw his passion for helping people,” Gebreselassie said. “One day, he told me about a boy who had a distended stomach because of schistosomiasis, a disease caused by drinking contaminated well water. From…
Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission. Janice Cones, a consumer safety inspector (CSI) at Establishment 537H in Columbia, Missouri, feels a profound sense of satisfaction and achievement about her job at FSIS. “In-plant inspectors, of which I am one, are the first and strongest lines of defense for protecting the public’s food…
For many Americans,  Memorial Day starts the summer grilling season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) wants to make sure you and your family avoid food poisoning this summer. An estimated 128,000 Americans are hospitalized with food poisoning each year, but foodborne illnesses can be prevented during summer months by properly handling perishable foods during travel, and by using a food thermometer when grilling. If you’re traveling to your…
Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission. Dr. Kis Robertson Hale, the Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) for the Office of Public Health Science (OPHS) and the FSIS Chief Public Health Veterinarian, knew her career path would be in the life sciences. While other kids her age were listening to music and lamenting their…
Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission. For over 18 years, Kari Johnstone has been dedicated to food safety. Specifically, Johnstone serves as a supervisory public health veterinarian (SPHV). Johnstone begins her typical workday by ensuring that the inspection line is fully staffed before touring the evisceration department to ensure all inspections are…
Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission. Dr. Kathleen McAnally is a frontline supervisor (FLS) in the Chattanooga circuit, which consists of a mix of red meat and poultry plants. As a veterinarian, she’s worked for FSIS the past 33 years. Her team is comprised of Supervisory Public Health Veterinarians (SPHV), Consumer…