Submitted to: Foodborne Diseases
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2004
Publication Date: 9/10/2007
Citation: Beier, R.C., Pillai, S.D. 2007. Future directions in food safety. In: Shabbir, S., editor. Foodborne Diseases. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. p. 511-530.
Technical Abstract: The recent success that the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has had in 2003 and 2004 of reversing the steadily increasing trend in Class 1 recalls is welcomed. In agreement with those statistics are the FSIS microbiological results for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef, which also decreased in 2003. But there is much work to be done in food safety and much to achieve. It is imperative while addressing food safety issues we understand the role that environmental microbiology, public health epidemiology, aerobiology, molecular microbial ecology, occupational health, industrial processes, municipal water quality, and animal health have on food safety. This is a tall order, however, a concerted effort by industry and academic and governmental researchers can accomplish the goal. Here we discuss future directions and applications in the distribution and spread of foodborne hazards, methods for microbial detection and differentiation, on farm pathogen reduction intervention strategies, targeting waste at animal production sites, antimicrobial resistance considerations, food safety storage and preparation strategies, food irradiation, new and emerging food safety hazards, and quantitative microbial food safety risk assessment. Of course this is not an exhaustive list of topics that need further work in food safety. But these are areas that we feel merit considerable attention by researchers. Not only do we need to strive to improve food safety through new strategies, processes and applications, we also need to be flexible and observant to readily handle new and emerging food safety problems, whether they are within our borders or globally born. There is no doubt that today in the United States we probably have one of the safest food safety systems in place. However, it is not a time for complacency. Our research endeavors should be so designed so that they keep pace with the food safety needs of the future.