Food Safety Management: A Practical Guide for the Food Industry, Volume , November 2013,
Over the past decades, more attention has been placed on the quality and safety of our foods, driven primarily due to higher incidence of foodborne diseases, large-scale outbreaks as well as incidents and recalls due to unacceptable levels of chemical hazards in our foods. Food safety incidents have undoubtedly contributed to a loss of trust of consumers and have created misperception on the subject, although among experts there is a broad consensus that the food supply has never been safer. The intensification of farming (such as the use of pesticides) using additives and preservatives to improve taste, appearance and shelf-life, and assessing new technologies that will in future impact agricultural production (e.g. GMOs, nanotechnology, animal cloning) are all subjects that contribute to this burden of mistrust. Hence, the challenges we face must not be underestimated. The rapid pace of change in science and technology, changes in legislation and the current socioeconomic and sociodemographic realities have all had a marked impact on our food choices. Today, globalization makes it possible to have greater varieties of foods, brought to us from all corners of the world. As a result, food can now be sourced practically anywhere, sometimes subject to different quality standards and means of (pre-) preparation. This equates to additional risk and requires careful management at all levels across the food chain. Manufacturers and regulators alike have recognized their responsibilities, and are well aware just how vulnerable and unpredictable contamination can be if appropriate food safety measures are not firmly embedded in a manufacturer's food safety management system. Regaining the trust of consumers and developing an international consensus among stakeholders on the acceptable level of risks and the safety measures for effectively addressing these risks remains the key challenge for the 21st century. This chapter provides an overview of the modern approach to food safety management, roles of different sectors and the challenges and the outlook for the future. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.