Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US food safety system needs to integrate human health, animal and plant pathogen data, experts urge

Date:
May 10, 2010
Source:
Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University
Summary:
A new report examines the steps taken by select European Union countries to reform their food safety data collection and analysis systems since the 1990s.

The Produce Safety Project has issued a report that examines the steps taken by select European Union (EU) countries to reform their food safety data collection and analysis systems since the 1990s. Authored by Michael Batz, head of Food Safety Programs, Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, and J. Glenn Morris, Jr., director at the Institute, the report, "Building the Science Foundation of a Modern Food Safety System," looks at European countries with strong food safety systems and makes a number of recommendations on how to improve those in the United States.

Related Articles


A key recommendation of the report is the annual publication of a unified cross‐agency report on tracking foodborne pathogens in humans, animals, food and feed. To be produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the annual analyses would summarize surveillance data on human foodborne illnesses -- including outbreaks and sporadic cases -- and on pathogen contamination in domestic and imported animals, food and feed.

"A national annual report on food safety will actually tell us if we are making progress or not in reducing the burden of foodborne illness," says Jim O'Hara, director of the Produce Safety Project. "It is a yardstick we don't have now."

The analysis would also present trends and provide the evidence basis for measuring food safety progress and include routinely updated national estimates of the incidence of foodborne illness due to major pathogens. The authors called for these reports to be written in a readable and consumer-friendly manner.

"Not only will an analysis give us a consolidated examination of the current state of affairs throughout the country, it will also require our food safety agencies to gather, organize and analyze data in a consistent and timely manner," said Batz, co-author of the report.

The report is based on extensive research and interviews with food safety authorities in member countries of the EU, particularly Denmark, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom where reforms have focused on improving the science base and risk assessment of food-safety efforts.

"We also believe there is an advantage to be gained by creation of an independent federal institute for food safety risk analysis," said Morris, co-author of the report. "It would be comprised of the majority of scientists and analysts currently within FDA, CDC and USDA food safety groups and tasked with supporting a risk-based food system through integrated research, data collection and analysis. That is the model from European countries with strong food-safety systems."

Within the existing systems in the United States the report outlines a number of specific steps to improve data collection and research, some of which include:

  • Revamping farm-to-table surveillance of domestic and imported food by developing a national surveillance plan and expanding collection of data on contamination of foods.
  • Increasing capacity for integrated food safety analysis by developing cross-agency strategies for priority setting and attributing the burden of specific foods to overall foodborne illness.
  • Better coordination of food safety research by publishing annually updated lists of prioritized research needs and increasing the role of regulators in research program priorities.
  • Ensuring transparency and public participation.
  • Improving effectiveness of trace-back and trace‐forward data for outbreak response by expanding traceability requirements along food chain. Standardizing record-keeping and creating incentives or requirements for electronic information tracking will further help gather this data.

Copies of the report are available at www.producesafetyproject.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University. "US food safety system needs to integrate human health, animal and plant pathogen data, experts urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510132207.htm>.
Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University. (2010, May 10). US food safety system needs to integrate human health, animal and plant pathogen data, experts urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510132207.htm
Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University. "US food safety system needs to integrate human health, animal and plant pathogen data, experts urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510132207.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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