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Food safety concerns and issues and ways of mitigating them

Food, despite being the most important human need, is fraught with many risks and hazards. The food chain, which consists of activities that cover everything from the proverbial farm to fork, passes through many points at which a harm of any nature can happen. The chances of risks to the food safety chain are all the more amplified in this age of globalization, when food travels through many regions and continents from its source to its destination.

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has identified five major issues with the food chain. These are:

o  Hazards of a microbiological nature

o  Residues left over by pesticides

o  Food additives

o  Chemical contaminants, such as pesticides; and

o  Adulteration.

Many other risks

Of late, this list has been extended to include genetically modified organisms, allergens, veterinary drugs residues and growth promoting hormones used in the production of animal products.

Further, other hazards to the food chain include antibiotic resistance, demographics, meaning the proper distribution of food to the right people, the effects from the environment, and foodborne illnesses. This clearly shows that there is no dearth of sources of hazards in the food chain.

Defining food quality and food safety

While these are the commonly identified areas of the food chain that are considered hazardous; a more fundamental issue for food specialists is in defining food quality and food safety. These have different meanings for food specialists. Identification and elimination of all the hazards that make food injurious to the eater is part of food safety. Anything that gives and enhances the value of the food to the consumer is considered a characteristic of food quality. Food quality can also include any negative traits such as spoilage, discoloration, rotting and stench, all of which affect the quality of food.

In view of the nature and expanse of the points at which hazards can happen in the food chain; it is necessary that there has to be a global cooperative effort aimed at checking these and ensuring food safety. Ensuring food safety at the local, national and global levels requires a high level of cooperation and coordination, not to speak of the sheer perseverance needed for it. A number of safety and quality standards have been in place for the food industry to adhere to. Compliance with these regulations goes a long way in eliminating a number of hazards and ensuring the quality and safety of food along the chain.

A webinar on food safety

All the aspects of food safety will be covered at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. 

Michael Brodsky, who brings varied and deep experience of over four decades into food safety aspects and holds the position of lead auditor/assessor in microbiology for the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and is a member of the Board of Directors among many others, will be the speaker at this webinar. To understand all the aspects of food safety from the expert, please register for this webinar by visiting

Thorough understanding of all the aspects of food safety

At this webinar, Michael will address the complexity of defining safe food. All the important aspects of food safety, such as the changing nature of foodborne and food transmitted pathogens, new and emerging analytical technologies and the influence of demographics and geography on the changing landscape, and the roles and responsibilities for various stakeholders along the food chain in identifying and eliminating foodborne illnesses and contamination will be discussed at length.

With the world’s population burgeoning, especially in areas that are vulnerable to food safety issues, emerging pathogens present a set of new challenges to everyone in the food chain, such as food producers, food safety regulators, consumers and food microbiologists. Michael will highlight these issues and explain what responsibilities each of us has in ensuring that food is safe and what cooperative efforts we must all put towards attaining this objective. 

Michael will cover the following areas during this webinar session:

o  Defining food safety

o  Risks and realities

o  Statistical reliability

o  New and emerging analytical technologies

o  The multiplicity of interacting factors

o  The changing landscape

o  Mitigating the risks.

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