Definition and meaning

Food Toxicology 2(2+0)
Lesson 30 : Food Safety

Definition and meaning

Food safety is a area concerned with handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food borne illness. This includes a number of measures that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Genetic food safety include issues like as impact of genetically modified foods on health of future generations and genetic pollution of environment, which can destroy natural biological diversity. There is also evidence that organic food often contains relatively high amounts of natural toxic compounds produced by fungi or plants, whereas corresponding conventional food tends to contain more synthetic toxins such as pesticide residues, toxins and other contaminants and additives. In developed countries there are well defined standards for food preparation, whereas in less developed countries the main issue is availability of adequate safe water, a critical item.

"Food safety" implies absence or acceptable and safe levels of contaminants, adulterants, naturally occurring toxins or any other substance that may make food injurious to health on an acute or chronic basis. Food quality can be considered as a complex characteristic of food that determines its value or acceptability to consumers.

Relationship between lifestyle, food safety, and emerging food borne pathogens

  • Food consumed is becoming more multinational in origin
  • Increased availability of fast food
  • More convenient for individuals and families to eat away from home
  • Greater risk for developing food borne diseases
  • Globalization of food supply makes it difficult for traditional regulatory control
Last modified: Monday, 27 February 2012, 9:09 AM