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Food safety: where from and where to?

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Purpose ‐ For nearly 150 years the study of food safety has been dominated by a microbiological approach, however, in many countries cases of foodborne disease are at record levels. The purpose of this paper is to review the history of food safety and present a model for studying food safety. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The history of food safety is reviewed. Data from outbreak investigations and observational studies of food handling are analysed Findings ‐ Whilst micro-organisms are a major factor in foodborne disease and microbiology an important research discipline, in order to reduce the incidence of foodborne disease additional research approaches should be used. Such strategies should include food handler behaviour and its links with food safety organisational culture, and food safety management systems. Practical implications ‐ The findings highlight the limitations of the present approach and the need for additional data, using a wider range of research techniques Originality/value ‐ A novel model for studying food safety is presented, which has practical implications for reducing the economic and social burden of foodborne disease.

Keywords: Diseases; Food safety; Micro-organisms; Microbiology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-01-01

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