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Annu Rev Nutr. 2003;23:315-44. Epub 2003 Mar 4.

Challenges and approaches to reducing foodborne illness.

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1
College of Agriculture, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA. agdean@iastate.edu

Abstract

Microorganisms have successfully adapted to changes in food production, processing, and preservation techniques, resulting in a number of new and emerging foodborne pathogens and the re-emergence of organisms that have been problematic in the past. To protect public health, science must meet the challenges that result from the remarkable adaptability of foodborne pathogens. However, not all of the challenges of preventing foodborne illness reside in the realm of science. Food safety policy must evolve in response to new scientific understanding of hazards in the food supply and an ever-changing food processing industry. The laws, regulations, and organizations comprising the food safety system frequently lag behind current scientific knowledge of the risks posed by foodborne pathogens. Future systemic changes to enhance food safety will require better understanding of risks associated with specific pathogens occurring in the food supply and the costs and benefits of implementing mitigation strategies.

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