USDA's Food Safety Chief Steps Down

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen announced she will be stepping down in mid-December.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Nov. 15 that Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, its food safety chief, will leave that post soon. She will be leaving in mid-December for a position in the private sector.

Her statement was published on USDA's website: "Today I am announcing that I will be embarking in mid-December on a new challenge in the private sector. I am grateful to Secretary Vilsack for the opportunity to serve as Under Secretary for Food Safety and be part of his leadership team. I also want to thank the dedicated public servants of FSIS for their tireless work in protecting the public health; it has been an honor to serve with them. I've had the pleasure of serving FSIS in a career capacity as well as Under Secretary, so I know full well their commitment to protecting public health.

"It has been an ambitious three years. USDA and FSIS have successfully made preventing foodborne illness a real priority. The steps we have taken, from modernizing the agency, strengthening oversight of industry and increasing outreach to consumers, has led to safer food and fewer foodborne illnesses."

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