UK Introduces Network to Deal with Food Safety Issues
In the United Kingdom, a food safety network has been established in an attempt to reduce the incidence of food poisoning. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have also put investments worth £1.6 million ($2 million) into the platform, which will be hosted by the Quadram Institute.
According to UK estimates, 2.4 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year, costing £9 billion ($11.1 billion), including £6 billion ($7.4 billion) from unknown sources.
To protect the UK against foodborne dangers, the UK Food Safety Research Network will bring together industry, food and health policymakers, and academia to collaborate on shared research goals. It will plan and fund cross-sectoral activities and training to address current and developing issues.
According to Quadram Institute group leader and network lead Matt Gilmour, food safety is endangered by both enduring and rising risks.
“This threat is exemplified by microbes that spread between the environment, animals and humans with foodborne exposures being a means for the transmission of pathogens and novel antimicrobial resistance genes from agriculture,” he said.
“The challenge is to take an integrated and unified approach to these problems right through from agriculture and the environment to food production and human health, in what’s termed a One Health approach. To do that, we need to collaborate with food and other associated industries to share research and innovation and deliver training activities.”
Members of the network will identify areas of research that will have a significant influence on food safety in the United Kingdom, and they will share the knowledge created within the network with food safety stakeholders.
“Foodborne disease is a major cause of illness in the UK population and imposes a significant burden on both infected individuals and the economy,” said Robin May, the FSA’s chief scientific adviser.
“The network will ensure that the FSA is well-placed to tackle the challenges of foodborne illnesses by bringing together experts from government, industry, and academia to address current and emerging issues in food safety in the UK.”
Melanie Welham, BBSRC executive chair, said food poisoning has a major impact on the health of people and the economy.
“The new UK Food Safety Research Network presents a tangible and exciting opportunity for collaborations to form between a range of experts to improve our understanding of foodborne diseases and identify new ways in which to effectively predict, prevent, respond to and recover from such illnesses in the future.”
Source: Food Safety News