Date of this Version
2018 American Society of Animal Science
As global food systems integrate, to meet the demands of a growing global population, safe and healthy agriculture value-chains will be essential to maintaining public health worldwide. In many ways, the current global food production landscape is made up of “mice and men.” Meaning that the food sector within and across most countries includes both large-scale corporate agriculture production and varying degrees of small-scale agriculture production; the variation being the interpretation of small scale, which is highly dependent upon the country. This structure presents challenges for the creation of effective food safety systems in many countries, and can contribute to deficiencies in monitoring and control of foodborne hazards within agriculture value-chains. These deficiencies can lead to outbreaks of foodborne disease, impact customer acceptability, and lead to food waste and loss. Recent estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) have determined that “the global burden of Foodborne Disease is comparable to those of the three major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis” (Havelaar et al., 2015). This has solidified presumptions and indications that unsafe food production has major impacts on global public health, human and country productivity, and development outcomes. Furthermore, these findings pose the question: What is the role of food safety in global agriculture value-chain development, and how can improvements to global food safety improve agriculture productivity worldwide? The answer to this question may lead to innovative approaches to global food systems that will assist in producing enough safe and nutritious food to feed the world.
The purpose of this article is to explore key concepts per- taining to food safety and the development of effective, effi- cient, and equitable food safety systems on a global scale. As the authors, we recognize that there are numerous factors involved in the topic of global food safety systems and food security. Due to this complexity, we have chosen to focus on a few concepts that we view as holding the most potential for impact, as well as directly influencing food safety and public health outcomes. Furthermore, based upon the readership of this journal, the article will also highlight the role of animal production in global food safety, as well as in creating healthy agriculture value-chains and healthy people.