Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2012
Publication Date: 6/13/2012
Citation: Gurtler, J. 2012. Prioritizing food safety and research. Symposium Proceedings. 79th Annual Meeting of Korean Society of Food Science and Technology (KoSFROST) Food Microbiology and Safety Symposium, Daejeon, Republic of Korea., June 13-15, 2012., Volume 1, Page 1. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Recent publications have revealed that approximately 48 million individuals in the the United States of America contract foodborne illnesses each year, with associated costs estimated at $77.7 billion U.S. dollars (equivalent to ca. 87.5 trillion Korean won in the year 2012). The United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service is dedicated to finding practical solutions to agricultural questions and problems, including food safety issues. Our research projects over the last five years include: (1) Collaborated with U.S. and Spanish food companies to develop technological processes that enhance the safety of juice products; (2) Contracted with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to test the thermal destruction of Salmonella in various liquid egg products (the FSIS will eventually use this data to update and rewrite U.S. egg pasteurization standards); (3) Currently collaborating with multiple U.S. antimicrobial companies to develop new sanitizers to inactivate bacteria on fresh produce; (4) Testing a natural biofuel byproduct to kill microorganisms in crop soil; (5) Working with a U.S. company to develop an improved method for the in-shell egg pasteurization of chicken eggs; and, finally, (6) Assisted a U.S. company in testing a novel processing method to destroy E. coli in ground beef. Results from some of these research projects will be presented as examples of practical research that may benefit the food industry as well as public health. Food microbiologists have a great opportunity to work together on an international level to find answers to applied food microbiology problems and to transfer these practical research solutions to the food industry to improve food safety around the world.