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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTERVENTIONS TO REDUCE EPIZOOTIC PATHOGENIC BACTERIA IN SWINE AND CATTLE

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Asas Centennial Paper: Developments and Future Outlook for Preharvest Food Safety

Authors
item Oliver, S. - UNIV. OF TENNESSEE
item Patel, D. - UNIV. OF TENNESSEE
item Callaway, Todd
item Torrence, Mary

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2008
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Citation: Oliver, S.P., Patel, D.A., Callaway, T.R., Torrence, M.E. 2008. ASAS Centennial Paper: Developments and future outlook for preharvest food safety. Journal of Animal Science. 86:1151-1175.

Interpretive Summary: The United States food supply is one of the safest in the world, yet many illnesses still occur each year from foodborne causes. Consequently, preventing foodborne illness and death remains a major public health concern. Challenges to providing a safe and nutritious food supply are complex because all aspects of food production – from farm to fork – must be considered. Given the national/international demand for and the formidable challenges of producing and maintaining a safe food supply, food safety research and educational programs have taken on a new urgency. Remarkable progress has been made during the last century. A century of animal agriculture research emphasizes that on-farm pathogens are associated with animal health and well-being, production of high quality food, and profitability. In this review, developments that have occurred over the last few decades will be summarized including types, sources, and levels of disease-causing pathogens encountered in food-producing production operations, and their association with food safety, as well as current and future methods to control/reduce foodborne pathogens on the farm.

Technical Abstract: While the United States food supply is one of the safest in the world, CDC estimates that 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die each year from foodborne illness. Consequently, preventing foodborne illness and death remains a major public health concern. Challenges to providing a safe and nutritious food supply are complex because all aspects of food production – from farm to fork – must be considered. Given the national/international demand and expectations for food safety as well as the formidable challenges of producing and maintaining a safe food supply, food safety research and educational programs have taken on a new urgency. Remarkable progress has been made during the last century. Sagacious wisdom from a century of animal agriculture research now includes the realization that on-farm pathogens are intricately associated with animal health and well-being, production of high quality food, and profitability. In this review, developments that have occurred over the last few decades will be summarized including types, sources, and levels of disease-causing pathogens encountered in food-producing production operations, and their association with food safety, as well as current and future methods to control/reduce foodborne pathogens on the farm; and present and future pre-harvest food safety research directions. Future scientific breakthroughs will no doubt have a profound impact on animal agriculture and production of high quality food, but we will also be faced with moral, ethical, and societal dilemmas that must be reconciled. A strong science-based approach that addresses all the complex issues involved in continuing to improve food safety and public health is necessary to prevent foodborne illnesses. Not only must research be conducted to solve complex food safety issues, but results of that research must be communicated effectively to producers and consumers.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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