Recalls, food worries spark booming business in food safety

December 2, 2009
Recalls of ground beef, peanut butter and other foods are quietly fueling a boom in the market for food testing equipment and fostering new food safety regulations. Credit: American Chemical Society

Recalls of ground beef, peanut butter, and other foods have done more than raise public awareness and concern about food safety. They also are quietly fueling a boom in the market for food testing equipment and fostering new food safety regulations. That's the topic of the two-part cover story in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News, (C&EN) ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley and Senior Correspondent Marc Reisch point out that food safety is a major public health issue, partly because the United States imports billions of dollars worth of food from sometimes exotic locations where food safety gets short shrift, the article notes. Other countries are also increasingly concerned about food safety. This includes China, where contaminated milk sickened hundreds of thousands of infants last year.

But help is on the way. Food scientists are developing faster, more sensitive methods for detecting food contaminants, an effort that has helped spur double-digit growth for instrument makers in the market. A new bill working its way through the U.S. Congress would require food producers to strengthen food-handling, record-keeping, and safety procedures. These efforts should result in a safer food supply with "fewer hospitalizations and deaths, and fewer economically devastating recalls," says U. S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who is quoted in the article.

More information: This story is available at

Source: American Chemical Society (news : web)

Explore further: Misperceptions noted in food safety survey

Related Stories

FDA, EFSA sign food safety science pact

July 3, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority have signed the first U.S.-European agreement to assess food safety risks.

FDA requires faster food safety reporting

September 8, 2009

(AP) -- Food makers will be required to alert government officials of potentially contaminated products within 24 hours under a new rule designed to help federal regulators spot food safety issues sooner.

Recommended for you

A new form of real gold, almost as light as air

November 25, 2015

Researchers at ETH Zurich have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible ...

Getting under the skin of a medieval mystery

November 23, 2015

A simple PVC eraser has helped an international team of scientists led by bioarchaeologists at the University of York to resolve the mystery surrounding the tissue-thin parchment used by medieval scribes to produce the first ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.