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Book Analysis: “Food Safety: Emerging Issues, Technologies and Systems”. By Rickie et al, (2015)

Updated on July 7, 2017

The science of food safety is changing by the day. This book is a tool that nutritionists, food manufacturers, food handlers and processors, microbiologists and even sociologists could use for their quests on food traceability, food safety tracking, and new ways for studying the environment in which foodborne diseases thrive. In addition, the book also highlights emerging issues in food security, education, food training, and food industry in general.

The chapter exclusively focuses on the United States’ practice of computer systems. The fact that the different authors who contributed into drafting of the book emanated from different parts of the world gives the book an international image. The first chapter of this book brings to light its international approach by focusing on the British history. For instance, the book gives a highlight of the 1970’s and 1980’s private label brands, which include; Tesco, Asda among others, double their market shares.

Aside from the first chapter, the other chapters in this first section talks about using indicator organisms to source –track, a method used in fresh produce production and bio tracking by applying quantitative mathematics. Another application is in the use of food pathogen tracing using molecular techniques, as well as assessing the current and future development in the microbial industry as pertains to chicken carcasses’ salmonella contamination.

The other usual pathogenic suspects are dealt with in the next eight chapters of the rest of the book section. These usual suspects include: current and future perspective on Staphylococcus aureus, foodborne illnesses caused by Campylobacter, proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomics approaches to the study of Listeria; progressive research on dietary control of Shiga Toxin-producing Coli (STEC) in ruminant hosts; aside from antibiotics, the possible use of antimicrobials in the US Salmonella control program (D’Mello, 2003).

In the final section of the book, food safety training and education are considered. The three chapters that mark the conclusion of the book focus on food safety at the farm, retail market, and food handlers. Included in this finding are senior school pupils and social media reviews from a US perspective. Not to discount readers in any way from elsewhere around the globe as detailed studies and approaches by Elke Steve felt are included. However, it is sad to realize that the Brazilian location was not acknowledged in the book, which in itself is a pity, to say the least.

In essence, the book, Food Safety: Emerging Issues, Technology, and systems evaluate new approaches to learning how to address and understand some of the emerging issues in the food industry that are still complicated to comprehend. It presents a comprehensive coverage on issues concerning food safety. Further, it gives a solid foundation in the understanding of food safety rules and initiatives, how to handle complex computer data and systems, how to detect foodborne pathogens, processing, and production compliance issues and handling whole chain traceability issues (Acheson, McEntire, and Thorpe, 2013).

The book is quite informative and educative in that it focuses on improving the reader’s awareness and hence; communication in such matters as pathogenic detection in food through the incorporation of recent scientific developments. It ensures that it keenly examines the most efficient molecular techniques, as well as control measures to give the reader a deeper understanding of the foodborne pathogen in question.

The authors have well represented how a right level of microbial reduction in food can be achieved. Additionally, the book provides tools to be used in the validation of microbial data during processing to eliminate or significantly reduce the microorganisms in food. This fact empowers a reader associated with the food safety industry to embark on this journey with a better knowledge of foodborne pathogens and how to significantly reduce them. It is an excellent read for a person beginning their career in food science, not to leave out the veterans in food science.

The current world takes food safety more seriously than it did before (Yasmine and Lelieveld, 2013). Presently, most Americans purchase their goods from large commercial suppliers, hence the need to provide a real solution to the foodborne pathogen. Given limitations in collected data, it's difficult to establish whether today’s food is safer than the previous years, but it is worth noting that there have been tremendous changes in the system that handles these pathogens, and the globalization of this issue (Wellink, 2012). The book has clearly outlined the status of education, communication, and training concerning issues of food safety and security globally.

Another new problem concerning food security is undoubtedly the fact that large retailers whose supply chain is linked globally now dominate to food markets. As a result, the large retailer has a contractual agreement with the respective countries to ensure that they meet specified safety requirements (Global Food Safety Initiative, 2016). Hence, the ripple effect is felt across the supply chain. The book has clearly highlighted the GFSI implementation issues and concepts, which have aided in global food safety applications. It is an authoritative book when it comes to food science and can be of immense use to the current food trends in the market.

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