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How do we ensure that the food choices available are safe and tasteful and what role can gastronomy play in achieving this?

Why discuss food safety?
Food safety is about ensuring that food will not cause harm to the consumer and prevent foodborne illnesses, it is about reaching a particular quality level, it is about business optimization and branding opportunities, and it is about taste. The challenge of ensuring food safety is not geographically or economically limited. Salmonella and listeria outbreaks are seen all over the world causing society great losses. Food safety is a global issue that affects the health of populations in both industrialized and developing countries.  

Globalization of food production and trade is extending the process from production to consumption, and a longer food chain requires greater focus on food safety. Not only does a longer food chain increase the sources of contamination it also complicates the necessary actions to prevent and investigate foodborne disease outbreak and product recall in case of emergency. During the different stages of production challenges such as improper use of agrochemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides in the field, and antibiotics and antiparasitic agents in animal agriculture, might lead to the presence of unsafe compounds in food products. As we move along the food chain measures such as storage and transportation can be of great importance in order to avoid contamination by harmful microorganisms and associated toxins. As the food chain continues to grow use of additives and preservatives in food processing can equally affect the safety. And as a permanent factor of significance throughout food production, preparation, and processing of food, safe water is essential to prevent contamination.

Freshwater supplies and suitable agricultural land is constantly exposed to the risk of chemical pollution. The rapid development of industrial facilities in proximity to agricultural land is a rising food safety problem due to the threat of contamination from industrial wastes such as heavy metals as well as air pollution. Besides affecting the taste, the functionality and the quality of the product, contamination can cause serious health issues with effects such as carcinogen, mutagen or toxic for reproduction.

Food safety is more than a matter for the authorities or the industry to worry about. In 2011 a survey reported that food safety was the most concerned issue for Chinese citizens, surpassing concerns regarding public security, traffic safety, medical safety, etc. And today’s mass media are creating a constant awareness of the consequences of insufficient food safety, as stories on mad cow disease clear the headlines or shitstorms on social media flourish. The media attention to food safety is closely connected to the world’s growing focus on health, lifestyle, convenience, animal welfare, organic food and the environment. This creates both business opportunities as well as new demands from the consumers.

Challenges of food safety – investigating the problem:

  • What challenges do industrialization and urbanization bring to food safety?
  • How can food safety be ensured and live up to the urban consumers’ growing need for culinary quality food?
  • Safe food – whose responsibility? What is the role of the authorities?

Solutions - investigating opportunities regarding food safety:

  • Private industries taking responsibility in ensuring food safety in an urbanized world.
  • The role that the media play in promoting safe food all the way from the farm to the kitchen tables in the city.
  • Consumers partaking in ensuring safe food.

How do we ensure that the food choices available are safe and tasteful and what role can gastronomy play in achieving this?

Why discuss food safety?
Food safety is about ensuring that food will not cause harm to the consumer and prevent foodborne illnesses, it is about reaching a particular quality level, it is about business optimization and branding opportunities, and it is about taste. The challenge of ensuring food safety is not geographically or economically limited. Salmonella and listeria outbreaks are seen all over the world causing society great losses. Food safety is a global issue that affects the health of populations in both industrialized and developing countries.  

Globalization of food production and trade is extending the process from production to consumption, and a longer food chain requires greater focus on food safety. Not only does a longer food chain increase the sources of contamination it also complicates the necessary actions to prevent and investigate foodborne disease outbreak and product recall in case of emergency. During the different stages of production challenges such as improper use of agrochemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides in the field, and antibiotics and antiparasitic agents in animal agriculture, might lead to the presence of unsafe compounds in food products. As we move along the food chain measures such as storage and transportation can be of great importance in order to avoid contamination by harmful microorganisms and associated toxins. As the food chain continues to grow use of additives and preservatives in food processing can equally affect the safety. And as a permanent factor of significance throughout food production, preparation, and processing of food, safe water is essential to prevent contamination.

Freshwater supplies and suitable agricultural land is constantly exposed to the risk of chemical pollution. The rapid development of industrial facilities in proximity to agricultural land is a rising food safety problem due to the threat of contamination from industrial wastes such as heavy metals as well as air pollution. Besides affecting the taste, the functionality and the quality of the product, contamination can cause serious health issues with effects such as carcinogen, mutagen or toxic for reproduction.

Food safety is more than a matter for the authorities or the industry to worry about. In 2011 a survey reported that food safety was the most concerned issue for Chinese citizens, surpassing concerns regarding public security, traffic safety, medical safety, etc. And today’s mass media are creating a constant awareness of the consequences of insufficient food safety, as stories on mad cow disease clear the headlines or shitstorms on social media flourish. The media attention to food safety is closely connected to the world’s growing focus on health, lifestyle, convenience, animal welfare, organic food and the environment. This creates both business opportunities as well as new demands from the consumers.

Challenges of food safety – investigating the problem:

  • What challenges do industrialization and urbanization bring to food safety?
  • How can food safety be ensured and live up to the urban consumers’ growing need for culinary quality food?
  • Safe food – whose responsibility? What is the role of the authorities?

Solutions - investigating opportunities regarding food safety:

  • Private industries taking responsibility in ensuring food safety in an urbanized world.
  • The role that the media play in promoting safe food all the way from the farm to the kitchen tables in the city.
  • Consumers partaking in ensuring safe food.

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