Food safety legislation and regulations have long been impacted by a variety of factors, including socioeconomic, consumer, political, and legal issues. With regard to food safety issues and concerns, certain parallels can be drawn
between the beginning and close of the 20th century. At the start of the 20th century, several food safety issues were brought to the public’s attention. Atrocious sanitation problems in the meat industry, highlighted in Upton Sinclair’s
novel The Jungle, had a major influence on the passage of the landmark legislation, the Federal Meat Inspection Act (1 906). Likewise, fairly wide-spread food adulteration with the addition of inappropriate chemical substances, and
the marketing of a variety of fraudulent and potentially dangerous elixirs, concoctions, and other formulations, led to passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906).
We are now in the 21st century and, food safety issues have as high a priority and significance as they did over 100 years ago.” Public concerns have arisen regarding high-profile food-borne illness outbreaks due to contamination
of food with certain pathogens (e.g., Salmonellu, Escherichiu coli 0 1 57:H7, Listeriu monocytogmes, and others) which have serious acute impact and potential chronic long-term complications in the ever-increasing high-risk
population segment (e.g., elderly, children, immuno-compromised). In addition, food-borne illness outbreaks are occurring in foods previously not considered high risk (e.g., fruit juices, fresh produce, deli meats). In response to these foodborne pathogen issues, a presidential budgetary initiative was instituted in 1997 to put a multi-agency food safety strategy in place. This National Food Safety Initiative includes a nationwide early warning system for food-borne illness, expanded food safety research, risk assessment, training and education programs, and enhanced food establishment inspection systems. Pathogen issues have also resulted in endorsement and implementation of comprehensive prevention and intervention strategies, such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, by the regulatory and industrial communities.
Another parallel can be drawn to earlier times. Society today, like that of the early 19OOs, is strongly interested in attaining certain therapeutic and health benefits through special foods (e.g., nutraceuticals and functional foods), and, once again, the line between foods and pharmaceuticals has become blurred. The trend to market these products has created certain labeling concerns with regard to health claims, as well as safety and efficacy concerns.
As the world has gotten smaller through increased communication, travel, immigration, and trade, there are current concerns regarding the safety of food products throughout the world. Global consumer concerns regarding genetically modified foods and ingredients, as well as potential chemical residues in foods, have had a major impact on current and future legislation, as well as world trade.
The intent of this book is to define and categorize the real and perceived safety issues surrounding food, to provide scientifically non-biased perspectives on these issues, and to provide assistance to the reader in understanding these
issues. While the primary professional audience for the book includes food technologists and scientists in the industry and regulatory sector, the book should provide useful information for many other audiences.
Part 1 focuses on general descriptions of potential food safety hazards and provides in-depth background into risk assessment and epidemiology. Potential food hazards are characterized in Part 11, where biological hazards are discussed, and in Part Ill, which addresses chemical and physical hazards.
Control systems and intervention strategies for reducing risk or preventing food hazards are presented in Part IV, V and VI. The emphasis of Part IV is on regulatory surveillance and industry programs including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Food safety intervention in food processing, handling and distribution are addressed in Part V, while the focus of Part Vl is on the retail foods sector. Diet, health and safety issues are characterized in Part VTI, with emphasis on food fortification, dietary supplements, and functional foods.
Finally, Part VIII addresses world-wide food safety issues through discussion of Codex Alimentarius Cotiztnission (CAC), the European Union perspectives on genetic modification, and other globally accepted food standards.
The topics within each chapter are divided into sections called units. To provide continuity across the book, these units have been generally organized according to the following structure: Introduction and Definition of Issues.
Background and Historical Sigiil’fcance, ScientGc Basis and Iiizplic~rtions, Regulatory, Industrial, and International Iniplications, and Current and Future Iniplica tions.
This project was a highly ambitious project and the co-editors would like to acknowledge the many people who provided valuable input and assistance and to express our sincere appreciation for their efforts. This appreciation is especially extended to G. William Chase, LeeAnne Jackson, Austin R. Long, Joan Rose, Mary K. Schmidl, Keith R. Schneider, Barry G. Swanson, and Sara E. Valdes Martinez, for their enthusiasm and diligence in serving as Part Editors and to all of the numerous authors of the Chapters. We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to Virginia Chanda, Michael Penn, and all the staff at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. who provided invaluable assistance to the project.
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