Recalls, food worries spark booming business in food safety

Dec 02, 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 pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87… over.html?featured=1

Source: American Chemical Society (news : web)

Explore further: The chemistry of beer and coffee

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA requires faster food safety reporting

Sep 08, 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.

FDA, EFSA sign food safety science pact

Jul 03, 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.

Recommended for you

Faster, cheaper tests for sickle cell disease

12 hours ago

Within minutes after birth, every child in the U.S. undergoes a battery of tests designed to diagnose a host of conditions, including sickle cell disease. Thousands of children born in the developing world, ...

Simulations for better transparent oxide layers

16 hours ago

Touchscreens and solar cells rely on special oxide layers. However, errors in the layers' atomic structure impair not only their transparency, but also their conductivity. Using atomic models, Fraunhofer ...

The chemistry of beer and coffee

20 hours ago

University of Alabama at Birmingham professor Tracy Hamilton, Ph.D., is applying his chemistry expertise to two popular beverages: beer and coffee.

User comments : 0