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Safeguarding public health through innovation in food safety science

Posted on 22/10/2019

The Society for Applied Microbiology Science has published a new science policy report on food safety in food manufacturing and processing.

We can all appreciate that maintaining a safe food supply is crucial to public health. Innovations in food manufacturing and processing are transforming how food is produced, and it is essential that innovation in food safety keeps pace with changes.

A new science policy report on food safety in food manufacturing and processing by the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) looks at recent and upcoming developments in food processing, food manufacture and the wider food supply chain, which will have an impact on risks related to harmful microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) and their toxins in foods.

The report discusses some of the more significant, high-impact and high-profile developments in food processing and manufacturing, including:

  • Automation – e.g. risks from the formation of biofilms on machinery
  • Genome sequencing – as a method of detecting food safety threats
  • Big data and artificial intelligence – for detection and prediction of food safety issues
  • Blockchain – already being used by some major food businesses to improve traceability and transparency in food supply chains
  • Innovation in food processing – e.g. methods to decontaminate food, including the use of electric fields, radio frequencies and ‘cold’ plasma.
  • Food packaging and storage – e.g. smart packaging solutions

KTN’s Dr Bryan Hanley was one of the experts who contributed to the development of this science policy report.

The report can be downloaded from the SfAM website here.