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New publication addresses safety of imported foods

As the proportion of imported foods in the food supply continues to increase, Americans are putting themselves at a potentially greater risk for foodborne disease as some countries may not have the same sanitary standards as the U.S. Imported Foods: Microbiological Issues and Challenges, the latest book in the ASM Press series Emerging Issues in Food Safety, thoroughly explains one of the greatest weaknesses in the U.S. food safety system and outlines steps necessary to remedy it.

"Food safety concerns have become a crucial public health issue. Perhaps most alarming of these is the questionable safety of many imported foods. As the market for food becomes increasingly global and our population clamors for more fresh produce and uncooked ready-to-eat foods, the microbiological risks of imported food have dramatically increased," says Michael Doyle of the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety who edited the book with colleague Marilyn Erickson.

Imported Foods: Microbiological Issues and Challenges brings together the most up-to-date and in-depth information on microbiological food safety. This volume not only describes the problems with imported foods but also suggests specific programs and steps to improve the monitoring and safety of imported foods. Authors explain the systematic risks inherent in food production in developing countries, the current U.S. food safety system, newly acquired foodborne pathogens, and recommendations for systematic changes to the monitoring of imported food. Throughout this volume, the authors emphasize proven concepts of microbial risk analysis and practical methods to address this growing public health concern.

"If the U.S. food safety system is allowed to continue unchanged, there are likely to be major increases in the occurrence and size of foodborne outbreaks as U.S. food imports increase from countries in which risky food production, harvesting and processing practices exist. This issue is among the most serious of food safety concerns confronting Americans for the foreseeable future. This book is the first to provide a comprehensive treatment of the microbiological food safety issues facing the United States from imported foods, and provides the justification for changes in the U.S. food safety net," says Doyle.


Contact: Jim Sliwa
American Society for Microbiology

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