Despite significant advances in detection tools, regulations, monitoring and consumer education on food safety, reports of foodborne illness outbreaks are expected to increase.
Posted on Food Safety Magazine
By Larry Keener
“Gluten-free diets becoming more common even if celiac disease isn’t.”
“California adds glyphosate to list of cancer-causing chemicals.”
“Flour recalled over possible link to E. coli outbreak.”
“Huge recall of frozen fruits and vegetables after Listeria outbreak.”
“Brazil’s largest food companies raided in tainted meat scandal.”
“Recalls of organic food on the rise.”
“Sally the salad robot is aimed at reducing the risk of foodborne illness by assembling salads out of precut vegetables stored in refrigerated canisters.”
“Hurricane Harvey brings food safety challenges to millions.”
As these headline news items attest, there are growing challenges in food safety that companies must address to remain innovative and grow their businesses!
Despite significant advances in detection tools, regulations, monitoring and consumer education on food safety, reports of foodborne illness outbreaks are expected to increase. More sensitive testing methods, changing consumer behaviors, climate change, modes of transportation and increasing complexity and globalization of the supply chain all contribute to this increase. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that foodborne diseases cause an estimated 48 million illnesses each year in the United States, including 9.4 million caused by known pathogens.
Food safety challenges exist along each step of the supply chain from concept to commercialization. The very name “supply chain” assumes that this is a linear relationship. However, as we all know, the complexity of the current supply chain from farm to fork makes it difficult to accurately manage the challenges facing us today, so organizations must reduce the complexities within the supply chain to enable accurate control of the process. This will involve the proactive identification of potential risks and their mitigation, resulting in brand protection and meeting ever-changing consumer needs.
Addressing these food safety challenges will require investments in information technology (IT), end-to-end management of the supply chain and building food safety capability from the CEO down to the line operators.