Publisher : Food & Agriculture Org.
Release : 2018-06-18
Language : En, Es, Fr & De
Book Description :
Food safety is a global concern, and consumers have the right to safe and nutritious food (FAO, 1996). Considerable efforts to strengthen food control systems have been made in many countries. However, while progress has been made, the estimated global burden of foodborne diseases: 600 million foodborne illnesses and 420 000 deaths from 31 major food safety hazards in 2010 (WHO, 2015)1 and the related social and economic costs (loss of income, employment and market access) remain unacceptably high. In addition, food safety is an important element in achieving food security, which is negatively impacted by both the health and economic aspects of unsafe food. Within this context, there are ongoing efforts in the way in which the building blocks of food control systems are developed and implemented, from legislative aspects to surveillance and monitoring programmes, and the tools used by laboratories. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) has recently emerged as a new tool, and offers great potential in the way we investigate, assess and manage microbiological food safety issues and illnesses. It allows the identification and characterization of micro-organisms with a level of precision not previously possible, therefore potentially minimizing much of the uncertainty which impacts our ability to respond and manage microbiological food safety issues effectively and efficiently. This, in addition to its rapidly declining costs, increases the attractiveness of incorporating such a tool in food safety management. While several industrialized countries have been moving forward with the technology, its application is limited, particularly in developing and transitional countries. Information describing the potential benefits, possible drawbacks, infrastructure requirements and technical challenges is urgently needed if countries are to make appropriate decisions about when and where to use this technology to strengthen national food control systems.