Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UK scientists devise worldwide food alert system

Date:
March 21, 2010
Source:
Kingston University
Summary:
Countries producing food containing harmful bacteria and toxins could be named and shamed more quickly using a worldwide alert system devised by a team of scientists from the UK.

Professor Declan Naughton.
Credit: Image courtesy of Kingston University

Countries producing food containing harmful bacteria and toxins could be named and shamed more quickly using a worldwide alert system devised by a team of scientists from Kingston University in South West London. The team, led by Professor Declan Naughton, says the easy to use computer tool can be used to monitor contaminated products; helping to prevent them reaching shop shelves and ensuring that food is safe to eat.

Thousands of alerts about contaminated food are produced each year, particularly by developed countries, but there is no single international system for monitoring food safety. This prompted Professor Naughton and his colleagues, from the School of Life Sciences, to develop a program to analyse alerts and produce a global picture of the countries that trade and detect contaminated food that can be deadly or cause health problems from food poisoning to long term degenerative diseases. Professor Naughton recently presented a summary of the team's findings to a conference organised by the European Food Security Authority, the EU's food safety and security watchdog.

Professor Naughton said the program was the most sophisticated available, providing more detailed information more quickly than its rivals. "No other system can reflect the complexity of this information in a snapshot form," he said."It can be particularly helpful to developing countries new to food testing because information is easy to access and available in minutes." The program could also be applied to other global health hazards such as pest control or illegal animal or plant imports.

China, Iran, Turkey, the United States and Spain were the top five offenders when it came to producing contaminated food, according to an analysis of data from 2003-2008. Over the same five-year period, Italy, Germany, the UK, Spain and the Netherlands were the countries that reported the largest number of contaminated products from other countries. Toxins in pistachio nuts from Iran, food recalled by major supermarket chains and imported products stopped by border agencies were among the alerts included in the analysis.

Professor Naughton said the program could provide profiles of individual countries that had problems with food safety as well as identifying particular contaminants that needed investigating, such as high levels of mercury in fish. He said: "We'd like to develop the tool to create an international alert system that will provide real time information about emerging patterns and problems." The program could also be used to help prepare for malicious or terrorist attempts to contaminate food, he added.

Professor Naughton, a biochemist, worked with Dr Andrea Petroczi, a statistician, and Dr Tamas Nepusz, a computer programmer in a multi-disciplinary team.

Professor Naughton is chairman of a panel of independent experts appointed to assess the quality of the European Food Security Authority's (EFSA's) scientific activities. EFSA is the EU's food safety and security watchdog.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kingston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tamαs Nepusz, Andrea Petrσczi, Declan P. Naughton. Network Analytical Tool for Monitoring Global Food Safety Highlights China. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (8): e6680 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006680

Cite This Page:

Kingston University. "UK scientists devise worldwide food alert system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304112320.htm>.
Kingston University. (2010, March 21). UK scientists devise worldwide food alert system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304112320.htm
Kingston University. "UK scientists devise worldwide food alert system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304112320.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins