(Editor’s Note: This is an online-only article attributed to December/January 2019 issue.)
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Explore this issueDecember/January 2019
I don’t think that any of us would work in the food safety industry if we didn’t believe improvement was possible. Through my own work, I hope for a future where foodborne illness outbreaks are virtually eliminated and food recalls are a thing of the past. It’s a big dream. According to the CDC’s July 27, 2018 Surveillance Summaries published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, foodborne contaminants cause on average almost 9.4 million illnesses every year. And a recent CDC FoodNet report says that foodborne illness is on the rise, increasing 96 percent in 2017 compared with the 2014-2016 average.
Clearly, it’s a multi-faceted problem that needs an equally complex and complete solution. So how can a safer food ecosystem that takes into account both consumer and food industry needs be achieved? The answer may rest in tech that has been around for quite some time.
As the industry becomes complacent with current tools, safety systems are in need of new, intelligent innovation. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which has been a popular method for detecting pathogens and adulterations for decades, is thought to be no longer as useful in preventing foodborne illnesses.| | | Next → | Single Page