She’s discussing a recent study she—along with Dr. Elizabeth Whitworth and Amy Woodward—published in the British Food Journal in January developing a new comprehensive categorization for food scares.
As the food market becomes increasingly global, products emerge from complex sourcing chains that limit both traceability and accountability—but increase the frequency with which the public faces threats to food safety.
Prof. Druckman and her colleagues discovered that no comprehensive categorization of food scares had previously existed; so, working with industry specialists, they developed one. This new system classifies food scares according to both their physical manifestations (chemical/physical or biological contamination) and their origins (deliberate deception and/or transparency/awareness issues).
The authors argue their system will enable a more strategic and effective response to food scares in the present while streamlining prevention of scares in the future.
“For example,” says Dr. Druckman, “a transparency/awareness issue will be dealt with by scrutinizing what the needs of the consumer are, in what way they are not being met adequately, and how best to address this shortcoming. In contrast, in the case of a food scare that is motivated by deception, a criminal offense may have taken place, therefore the police may be involved. In both cases, it will be important to learn from the particular food scare in question and put steps in place to prevent future similar occurrences. But in the case of deception, understanding motives will be key to success in preventing future such events.”
About Jesse Staniforth
Jesse Staniforth is a Montreal-based freelance journalist, writer, and editor covering a variety of different beats. He reports regularly on Indigenous issues for The Nation magazine, serving the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, as well on Information Security issues for SC Magazine. His stories have appeared in a wide variety of other publications, from the Toronto Star and Metro News through AskMen.com and University Affairs. After editing several thousands of pages' worth of food preparation training materials for a hospitality industry group, he grew fascinated with the subject of food safety. Reach him at email@example.com.