September 10, 2009
The United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health & Human Services on Sept. 9 launched a food safety consumer website that will include pet food recall information.
“We want to protect pets and animals so we will include information as it comes up,” said Vicki Rivas-Vazquez, a spokeswoman for HHS.
The new website features information from all the agencies across the federal government that deal with critical food and food safety information. The goal is to provide a “one-stop online shop for all the latest information [consumers] need to reduce the danger of food-borne illnesses,” said Jerry Mande, deputy under secretary for Food Safety at USDA.
The website will include information on food safety, food recalls (human and pet), preventive tips about how to handle food safely and news from the key agencies. Visitors can also sign up to receive email and RSS alerts on recalled or potentially unsafe food.
The website will eventually include recall feeds for texting and mobile phones as well as a foodsafety.gov widget that the public and media can download and promote on their websites and social networking sites. The widget will instantly update viewers with the latest food safety recalls and will be a valuable public health and safety tool, according to the USDA and HHS.
“Protecting the health and well-being of the American people is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our new and innovative approach to connecting consumers to food safety information in an easy and timely manner is a critical improvement in this effort.”
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