The 13 Food Safety Topics That You Need To Know

Phil Lempert is a television and radio news reporter, newspaper columnist, author, consumerologist, and food marketing expert. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products, and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions.

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The European Food Safety Authority has just concluded that changing consumer behavior is driving many of the emerging issues in food safety.

Potential issues were classed according to the hazard, with nine being microbiological and 5 chemical, or driver identified with 6 being due to new consumer trends and 2 because of new processor technology.

Of 17 potential issues debated, 13 were judged to be emerging topics. One was the identification of emerging food allergens as EU regulation on labeling does not apply to commercial airlines. The recommendation was that countries do education campaigns for public transport companies where food is served. Others included human consumption of microplastics and nanoplastics in table salt; cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiol-containing products; foodborne invasive infections with group B Streptococcus (GBS), hepatoxicity associated with food supplements containing turmeric and food safety risks linked to the trend of minimally processing.

The report also highlighted the trend towards light products with decreased fat content and with clean label considerations may present new levels of risk due to low concentration of preservatives. The demand for slow cooking at a lower temperature was also discussed.

One area not classed as an emerging issue was the increased risk of foodborne illness due to proposed reductions and bans on food and beverage service packaging made with plastic.

These items help prevent cross-contamination of food products, and a ban on, or reduced access to them, in the absence of changes in consumer practice, will lead to greater persistence and circulation of foodborne pathogens within the supply chain, and increased risks of illness in Europe, according to Serving Europe, which represents branded food and beverage service chains at EU level.