Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Food Safety Rests on Four Interlocking Issues

By Kaye Basford

Systems, technology, culture and trust are essential elements of safety in our food supply.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Australian and Chinese agricultural leaders have agreed on the need to address a pyramid of interlocking issues to address the world’s requirements for a safe and sustainable food chain. They have identified the issues of systems and technology, underpinning culture and trust, as the key requirements to deliver food safety and win international community support.

This breakthrough identification of the key food safety issues came at an April workshop in Beijing jointly run by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering to focus on technology advances in food safety. I led the ATSE delegation of leading Australian thinkers on the topic.

The drive to put some structure around food safety is driven by the fact that we live in a world with:

  • increasing population and urbanisation;
  • changing agricultural practices and climate;
  • increasing technological intervention in food production;
  • increasing volume and diversity of trade in food;
  • changing requirements for food preparation; and
  • increasing demand for safe food.

The workshop agreed that we need to ensure food safety along the whole agrifood chain – or “web” – as we now have complex food solutions involving both fresh and processed food of domestic and international origin. Consumers’...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.