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The Food Industry Center.

July 2012 Archives

Improving the Food Safety System

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Photo: USDAgov
alternate textHow does a successful food safety system function in such a complex web of domestic and global participants? Where are the gaps in our current system?These were just some of the questions discussed at the Ensuring Food Safety Whose Responsibility? forum series on June 7th hosted by the University's new Food Policy Research Center and Center for Integrative Leadership.

The Forum's panel discussion presented an insightful cross-stakeholder discussion from the consumer, producer, manufacturer, and government perspectives. The speakers provided clarity on their food safety responsibilities within the often siloed safety system, as well as their vulnerabilities when problems (sometimes tragic) occur. The Forum audience agreed the panelists represented the key participants necessary in keeping people safe from food-borne illness.

Throughout the day, several common themes came out of speaker and audience discussions. Specifically recognized, was a need for more coordination between the separate government agencies, who share responsibilities for food inspection and safety. Participants were also in consensus on the necessity to remove political motives from establishing safety policy. Further food safety education was also advocated at both the consumer and producer levels. Finally, participants also agreed there are actions that can be taken that don't have to cost a lot of money, but can go a long way to ensuring a safer food supply.

For more information on the Forum's food safety discussions, an executive summary is available on the Center for Integrative Leadership's web site.

The Food Industry Center is a University of Minnesota Supporting Center of the Food Policy Research Center.

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