Trends in technology, trade and consumption likely to impact on microbial food safety

T.E. Quested, P.E. Cook, L.G.M. Gorris, M.B. Cole

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Current and potential future trends in technology, consumption and trade of food that may impact on food-borne disease are analysed and the key driving factors identified focusing on the European Union and, to a lesser extent, accounting for the United States and global issues. Understanding of factors is developed using system-based methods and their impact is discussed in relation to current events and predictions of future trends. These factors come from a wide range of spheres relevant to food and include political, economic, social, technological, regulatory and environmental drivers. The degree of certainty in assessing the impact of important driving factors is considered in relation to food-borne disease. The most important factors driving an increase in the burden of food-borne disease in the next few decades were found to be the anticipated doubling of the global demand for food and of the international trade in food next to a significantly increased consumption of certain high-value food commodities such as meat and poultry and fresh produce. A less important factor potentially increasing the food-borne disease burden would be the increased demand for convenience foods. Factors that may contribute to a reduction in the food-borne disease burden were identified as the ability of governments around the world to take effective regulatory measures as well as the development and use of new food safety technologies and detection methods. The most important factor in reducing the burden of food-borne disease was identified as our ability to first detect and investigate a food safety issue and then to develop effective control measures. Given the global scale of impact on food safety that current and potentially future trends have, either by potentially increasing or decreasing the food-borne disease burden, it is concluded that a key role is fulfilled by intergovernmental organisations and by international standard setting bodies in coordinating the establishment and rolling-out of effective measures that, on balance, help ensure long-term consumer protection and fair international trade. Keywords: Microbial food safety; Food technology; Globalization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S29-S42
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • hydrostatic-pressure
  • united-states
  • foodborne-disease
  • human listeriosis
  • inactivation
  • irradiation
  • microorganisms
  • england
  • illness
  • wales

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