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.

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 July 24, 2014 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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