Food safety group introducing web site as resource

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — An information resource for those seeking information on food safety as well as for groups working to enhance food safety has been created by the White House Food Safety Working Group.

The group, led by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, has launched an Internet web site, www.foodsafetyworkinggroup.gov. The site will contain information about the group’s progress.

"The Working Group will be an important tool for gathering ideas as to how we can strengthen the food safety system to be more accountable and accessible to the public it protects, flexible enough to quickly resolve new safety challenges that emerge, and able to meet the robust needs of our rapidly changing world," Mr. Vilsack said.

Ms. Sebelius said the site will allow the public to "share their thoughts and contribute to this important process." Features of the web site include social bookmarking tools, including an RSS feed as well as a downloadable widget to help keep users informed. "Widget" is a generic term for a range of web features such as buttons, pop-up windows and drop down menus that allow users to interface with an application.

The Food Safety Working Group met in May and outlined principles to meet the president’s objective of upgrading the nation’s food safety system.

"In the weeks to come, the Food Safety Working Group will provide additional opportunities to engage stakeholders in conversations and help shape these principles," the U.S.D.A. said.

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