Swallowing Trust

Food Safety from Farm and Sea to Table

Writings by Christine Blackledge and P. Vincent Hegarty

We began this blog with the intent of promoting our work but we quickly found we loved the connection and interaction with readers. We also liked a forum where we could voice our opinions about food safety and the food world generally. So that’s what this site is—a place where we can share news, opinion and information to people who care about the same.

Within our Grasp/ by Sharman Apt Russell

Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide and the Revolution Taking Place to End It Reflections on writing a book about childhood malnutrition. People are sometimes too shy to ask: Why would I want to write a book about childhood malnutrition? It’s such a sad subject. A quarter of the world’s children are stunted

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Food Safety Starts with Soap/Making Soap from Ashes

Legend has it soap was first discovered by women washing clothes along the Tiber River at the bottom of Sapo Hill in Rome. Clothes became cleaner there, with far less effort. What was happening? Animal grease and ashes from sacrificial fires at Sapo Hill mixed with rainwater and ran down

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Ecuador Coffee farmer association

Coffee Farmers in Ecuador

Not even close, but still rewarding! That’s how I generally feel about doing remote assignments via WhatsApp or Zoom for USAID’s Farmer to Farmer being implemented in Ecuador by International Development Volunteer Opportunities | NCBA CLUSA. I’d much rather be there, in person, to work with local volunteer Herman Spitzer

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P. Vincent Hegarty: MYCOTOXINS / AFLATOXINS are both NATURAL and TOXIC

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain molds (fungi) that are found naturally all over the world. They can contaminate food crops and pose a serious health threat to humans and livestock. Food crops can become contaminated both before and after harvesting. Pre-harvest contamination with aflatoxins is mainly limited

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Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE)

I have been asked to give a lecture to a university in Lebanon on US labeling and nutrition compliance for the food industry and food safety graduates. I did a presentation concerning many of the same issues in January 2020 at another university and it was well received and has

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training at Sekem

Improving food safety and relevant HACCP plans

In March 2021, Land O’Lakes International Development asked me to help with a remote project on improving food safety and relevant HACCP plans. As many companies and organizations around the world are having to acclimate to the new work environment and an inability to travel, the Farmer-to-Farmer team at Land

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Global Food Law


In the early 1990s I walked across campus to the Michigan State University Library. There is nothing unusual about that. My mission was to photocopy some recent food laws filed in the U.S. Government documents section of the library. Sometimes I was unlucky. Somebody before me had ripped out the

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Food Value Chain, Cassava

Using International Standards for Food Safety Along the Food Chain

Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and Codex Alimentarius Standards Provide Prevention to Increase Food Safety in all levels of Food Production Global expansion of commercial purchases of food commodities and ingredients makes food safety an international concern. Developing countries have the products, but many

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Compliance Labeling Training

Compliance Labeling for Imports

The US imports about 15% of its food supply. According to the USDA “over 95 percent of coffee/cocoa/spices and fish/shellfish products consumed in the United States are imported, as are about half of fresh fruits and fruit juices and almost a third of wine and sugar.” The EU imported 93

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Yogi Super Foods available products

Congratulations to yogi super foods

FSMA compliance labeling for US imports by Christine Blackledge for a Guatemalan small business through The Partners of America. I would like to congratulate Yogi Super Foods from Guatemala in having his raw chocolate bars now available at Amazon.  It was a pleasure working with the owner, Marco Barbi, and his

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Congratulations to The Good Thymes

FSMA compliance labeling for US imports by Christine Blackledge for a Lebanon small business through Land O Lakes. Working with LandO’Lakes Venture37 I met Fadi Aziz founder of The Good Thymes, of Lebanon. We worked on incorporating compliant FSMA nutritional labeling for exporting to the US. The Good Thyme shipped his

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The safety of Coffee

The World of coffee and food safety

I have enjoyed my time working with coffee farmers around the world. Learning to cup coffee with a Starbucks team in Rwanda was eye opening. Coffee cupping, or coffee tasting, is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. It is a professional practice but can be

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Need for a U.S. Secretary of Food: image of the published news article

Why a Secretary of Food cabinet position makes $ense

The Freshwater Reporter shares fresh stories of people, places and events – past, present and future – in Manistee, Mason, western Wexford and western Lake counties. Chef José Andrés is founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, an organization that distributes food in areas affected by natural disasters. In an

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Food Safety, head shot of authors


Surely you don’t expect me to swallow that? In some parts of the world this is a polite way of saying a statement or data is considered untrustworthy and you do not accept it. Unfortunately, we cannot say that about the safety of some of the food we swallow. Among

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