Globalization Brings Food Safety Issues Home

ORLANDO—Changes in the infectious traits of germs, their resistance to antibiotic treatments, and even changes within human bodies all can have dire effect on our susceptibility of foodborne illness as a result of the globalization of the food supply. Experts in food safety will target the factors that threaten to contribute to the emergence of illnesses spread via food on Sunday, June 25, at the Orange County Convention Center here, during this year’s Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting + Food Expo®.

Prions and brain-wasting disease, viruses and the animal version of hepatitis E, and the heightened ability of foodborne bacteria to infect the body are just some of the issues to gain critical review in this scientific presentation featuring researchers from the USDA and FDA, the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, and elsewhere.

“There is a vision that emerging pathogens are the result of technology run amok,” says lecturer and noted food safety expert Dean Cliver, Ph.D., of the University of California at Davis, “But backlash against technology is probably doing as much harm or more.”

“The misconception that raw is ‘natural’ and that food preservation inevitably diminishes nutritional value has opened the door to many pathogens that seldom cause human illness via cooked foods,” he says.

The international trade of foods, the ability to import from the opposite hemisphere and serve foods traditionally unavailable during certain growing seasons, and international travel itself all present new risks to the safety of food. These and other factors and their influence on food and human health will drive this session.

Globalization of the food supply is one of four major topics of this year’s IFT Annual Meeting. Others are: Functional Foods; Bioterrorism/Food Defense; and Allergens. More details are available online at www.am-fe.ift.org.

Now in its 66th year, IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo® is the world’s single largest annual scientific meeting and technical exposition of its kind, regularly registering up to 20,000 attendees, nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies, and more than 1,000 technical presentations. Rated among the largest shows in America*, the meeting and expo deliver comprehensive, cutting-edge research and opinion from food science-, technology-, marketing- and business-leaders.

* According to Tradeshow Week® magazine.


Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues. For more on IFT, see www.ift.org.

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