Food and Feed Safety

Contaminated Food

Contaminated food is currently one of the most pervasive health concerns globally. While it is difficult to accurately estimate the incidence of foodborne diseases, a current World Health Organization study estimates that 600 million foodborne illnesses and 420,000 deaths occur every year globally due to the consumption of contaminated food. In the area of food safety, CAHFS has developed quantitative microbial risk assessments to address the increasing emergence of Salmonella and Campylobacter outbreaks related to poultry meat products. Specifically, CAHFS has worked with APHIS to evaluate pre-harvest interventions in US broiler farms to reduce Salmonella prevalence.

CAHFS has worked with Chiang Mai University in Thailand to estimate the number of Campylobacter cases after consumption of chicken meat in Northern Thailand. And CAHFS has worked with private industry in the US to evaluate the reduction of Salmonella cases after implementing enumeration techniques in ground turkey. The development of new aquaculture systems, such as aquaponics that combines fish and fresh produce in Minnesota, has led our experts to develop a risk assessment to identify the food safety risks associated with the consumption of the fresh produce from aquaponic systems. 

Feed Contamination

The role for contaminated feed ingredients in the transboundary spread of diseases, and its subsequent propagation within countries, has been speculated in the cases of swine enteric virus outbreaks in the US (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, porcine delta corona virus). This has had an impact on feeding strategies which has led to the increased cost of production and market disruption.

Our group of experts has provided risk analysis expertise to the feed industry through National Pork Board funding during the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus outbreak by assessing the risk of PED transmission through feed ingredients of animal origin. The National Pork Producers Council also requested our help  in evaluating the volume and type of ingredients that are imported into the US and the implications for disease transmission. CAHFS is currently developing a hazard assessment tool for the American Feed Industry Association to evaluate the feed hazards under the 2015 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of the Food and Drug Administration.