How safe is our food supply? Each year the media report what appears to be growing concern related to illness caused by the food consumed by Americans. These food borne illnesses are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, pesticide residues, and food additives. Recent actions taken at the federal, state, and local levels in response to the increase in reported incidences of food borne illnesses point to the need to evaluate the food safety system in the United States. This book assesses the effectiveness of the current food safety system and provides recommendations on changes needed to ensure an effective science-based food safety system. Ensuring Safe Food discusses such important issues as:
What are the primary hazards associated with the food supply? What gaps exist in the current system for ensuring a safe food supply? What effects do trends in food consumption have on food safety? What is the impact of food preparation and handling practices in the home, in food services, or in production operations on the risk of food borne illnesses? What organizational changes in responsibility or oversight could be made to increase the effectiveness of the food safety system in the United States?
Current concerns associated with microbiological, chemical, and physical hazards in the food supply are discussed. The book also considers how changes in technology and food processing might introduce new risks. Recommendations are made on steps for developing a coordinated, unified system for food safety. The book also highlights areas that need additional study. Ensuring Safe Food will be important for policymakers, food trade professionals, food producers, food processors, food researchers, public health professionals, and consumers.
National Research Council. Ensuring Safe Food: From Production to Consumption. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1998.
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