Biotechnology allows scientists to improve foods, create new food products and provide better tools to ensure food safety. It can assist in achieving the goal of an abundant, safe and nutritious food supply for a growing population. These technologies can lead to a greater variety of food with improved taste, nutrition and cooking quality. There are valid concerns about the widespread use of biotechnology which remain to be addressed by health, scientific and consumer constituencies. Dietitians need to be informed about biotechnology in food production and processing. They need to be aware of potential benefits and risks. Dietitians are uniquely positioned to inform the public about food safety and food products of biotechnology. Dietitians can discuss this information in understandable language and with sensitivity to public values. Dietitians should participate in the development of food-related policies at local, provincial and federal levels.
In September 1994, a complaint was registered at a public health unit concerning a cheese product. In addition, public health laboratories in Ontario reported an increase in the number of isolates of Salmonella berta from patients with diarrhoeal illness. A clinical, environmental and laboratory investigation was initiated to determine the nature of this outbreak. Isolates of Salmonella berta were compared using large fragment genomic fingerprinting by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). By late October, 82 clinical cases had been identified including 35 confirmed, 44 suspected and 3 secondary. The investigation linked illness to consumption of an unpasteurized soft cheese product produced on a farm and sold at farmers' markets. Subtyping results of patient, cheese and chicken isolates were indistinguishable, suggesting that the cheese was contaminated by chicken carcasses during production. The outbreak illustrates the potential role of uninspected home-based food producers and of cross-contamination in the transmission of foodborne bacterial pathogens.
The official control of food safety and quality is the most important tool for governmental protection of public health and consumers rights in foodstuffs business sector. Although historically each country developed it's own system reflecting national culture, economy etc., tremendous efforts were made in recent decades to pursue international harmonization of national food laws and regulation. The major goal of harmonization is to ensure that food laws and regulations of various countries are based on sound science and that consumers of various countries benefit from advances of new technologies. Germany and Denmark are members of European Union. Therefore basic principles of official foodstuffs control of both countries have been harmonized with respective EU directives. In contrast to Russia, the systems in both countries are not based on pre-market product certification and are focused instead on approval of manufacturing, storage and sale facilities as well as products related business practices of foodstuff suppliers.
The color assessment ability of a multispectral vision system is investigated by a comparison study with color measurements from a traditional colorimeter. The experiment involves fresh and processed meat samples. Meat is a complex material; heterogeneous with varying scattering and reflectance properties, so several factors can influence the instrumental assessment of meat color. In order to assess whether two methods are equivalent, the variation due to these factors must be taken into account. A statistical analysis was conducted and showed that on a calibration sheet the two instruments are equally capable of measuring color. Moreover the vision system provides a more color rich assessment of fresh meat samples with a glossier surface, than the colorimeter. Careful studies of the different sources of variation enable an assessment of the order of magnitude of the variability between methods accounting for other sources of variation leading to the conclusion that color assessment using a multispectral vision system is superior to traditional colorimeter assessments.
Detecting Mycoplasma bovis on cattle farms represents a challenge in the absence of an outbreak or cases of M. bovis mastitis, yet identification of an infection is essential to control the spread of the disease successfully. The objectives of this study were: (1) to determine whether meat inspection records can aid identification of cattle farms supporting M. bovis infection, and (2) to compare the average daily weight gain estimated from carcass weight for cattle originating from farms differing in M. bovis test-status. Meat inspection records were collected from two abattoirs in 2015; 80?677 animals in total. All the dairy and mixed breed cows and bulls used for meat production were categorized according to known M. bovis infection status of the farms from which the cattle were derived; positive, contact or control farms. The associations between animals from different M. bovis categories and lung lesions of bulls and cows (pneumonia and pleuritis), identified during meat inspection, and estimated average daily gain (ADG) of bulls, were investigated. The odds ratios for lung lesions, especially pleuritis, were higher in M. bovis test-positive or contact farms compared with control farms. Additionally, odds ratios for pleuritis were higher among animals from M. bovis test-positive farms and animals from contact slaughtering farms originating from M. bovis-free rearing farms. Bulls originating from M. bovis test-positive farms had higher estimated average daily gain than cattle from control farms. Meat inspection records can be used alongside other methods to detect M. bovis-positive farms where M. bovis causes lung lesions.
This exploratory qualitative study was conducted to identify constraints to microbial food safety policy in Canada and the USA from the perspective of stakeholder groups along the farm to fork continuum. Thirty-seven stakeholders participated in interviews or a focus group where semi-structured questions were used to facilitate discussion about constraints to policy development and implementation. An emergent grounded theory approach was used to determine themes and concepts that arose from the data (versus fitting the data to a hypothesis or a priori classification). Despite the plurality of stakeholders and the range of content expertise, participant perceptions emerged into five common themes, although, there were often disagreements as to the positive or negative attributes of specific concepts. The five themes included challenges related to measurement and objectives of microbial food safety policy goals, challenges arising from lack of knowledge, or problems with communication of knowledge coupled with current practices, beliefs and traditions; the complexity of the food system and the plurality of stakeholders; the economics of producing safe food and the limited resources to address the problem; and, issues related to decision-making and policy, including ownership of the problem and inappropriate inputs to the decision-making process. Responsibilities for food safety and for food policy failure were attributed to all stakeholders along the farm to fork continuum. While challenges regarding the biology of food safety were identified as constraints, a broader range of policy inputs encompassing social, economic and political considerations were also highlighted as critical to the development and implementation of effective food safety policy. Strategies to address these other inputs may require new, transdisciplinary approaches as an adjunct to the traditional science-based risk assessment model.