Fed. Food Safety Chief to Keynote Turkey Convention

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2011 National Turkey Federation (NTF) Annual Convention, Feb. 10-12, at the Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson.

Hagen is expected to discuss the implementation of new science-based food safety technologies and the ongoing evolution of the HACCP inspection system when she addresses more than 500 turkey industry executives expected to attend the NTF Annual Convention General Session on Thursday, Feb. 10.

“NTF and its membership look forward to hearing about Dr. Hagen’s vision for the future of USDA’s science-based, risk-based inspection system,” said NTF president Joel Brandenberger.  “We look forward to working with her as she builds on the agency’s successes in enhancing the safety of the food supply and further strengthen its public health mission.”

A physician certified in infectious disease and graduate of the Harvard Medical School, Hagen previously was USDA’s chief medical officer. She assumed the under secretary position in August, where she is responsible for establishing policy to assure the safety of the nation’s meat, poultry and processed egg supply, for overseeing the operation of FSIS, and, as a member of the White House Food Safety Working Group, for helping develop the overall administration food safety policy.

The Washington, D.C.-based NTF’s annual convention general session will also include presentations from a major supermarket chain’s meat executive, who will discuss ways to include more turkey products in the retail meat case, and from Tom Elam, Farm Econ, LLC, who will provide an economic update on the turkey industry.  This year’s session will lead off by honoring one of the Turkey on the Menu (T.O.M.) Award winners, a foodservice chain that exemplifies success with turkey menu applications.

The federation’s convention is designed to find ways to constructively stampede through obstacles so the industry can continue to prosper by marketing turkey products to consumers.

For more information, visit www.EatTurkey.com.

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