The Role of Food Safety in Food Security
Today’s agricultural security and food safety and security discussions are, admittedly,
burdened by confusion of terminology.
Therefore, this article necessarily begins by addressing the terms “security” and “defense” in the context of the agricultural and food industry.
Some definitions that have been used by food regulators include the following:
• Food security. Activities associated with ensuring the adequacy of the food supply.
• Food defense. Activities associated with protecting food from intentional contamination.
The term “food security” has been contested in recent years. In the post-9/11 era,
new understandings of security have influenced the interpretation of both “homeland
security” and “food security” [1, 2]. Indeed, the adoption, by such regulatory agencies as
the US Food and Drug Administration, of the term “food defense” stems from confusion
surrounding the term “food security” .
While some contend that “food security” ought to be strictly the domain of
international-aid and economic-development policy communities, others have used
the term “food security” to encompass international food defense issues as well as
unintentional incidents that impact the adequacy of the food supply.
Rather than letting semantics unduly complicate more important issues, leaders should support—or, at least, tolerate—the use of either “food security” or “food defense” in discussions devoted to how to protect the food supply and ensure food safety as well as food-supply sufficiency.
Quite simply, knowledge of and practices regarding food safety are applicable regardless
of one’s understanding of food security or food defense. The purpose of this chapter is
not to debate the correct terminology but to show how food safety knowledge serves the
broad objectives of food security/defense.
Whether or not a food industry professional is concerned about bioterrorism, quality assurance, sanitation, physical site security,border security, supply chain management, or international trade, he/she will find that food safety capabilities and strategies are almost, if not always, applicable.
The historical development of preventive, process-oriented food control systems
notably includes the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system;we have carefully written a nice piece on FOOD SAFETY PREVENTION, HACCP, AND FOOD SECURITY/DEFENSE.
In order to paint a picture of the relevance of food safety principles, practices,
and research to food security/defense, a situation- and commodity-specific example is
offered in our concise article on FOOD SAFETY PREVENTION, HACCP, AND FOOD SECURITY/DEFENSE.
Finally, food safety education and its application to food security/defense is highlighted below.
FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION IN FOOD SECURITY/DEFENSE
Traditional food safety related courses, such as food microbiology, food chemistry, epidemiology, toxicology, and so on are integral to food safety and security/defense strategies and are part of most food science— related curricula.
Food safety and security/defense curricula can be easily augmented with these existing courses. Examples of this augmentation include a Food Safety and Defense Masters Certificate offered by K-State, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Iowa State University, and the University of Missouri.
A similar initiative with Purdue University and the University of Indiana will lead to a graduate curriculum in Food Safety and Defense. These initial initiatives are being replicated and integrated with the educational efforts of the Department of Homeland Security Centers such as the University of Minnesota based National Center for Food Protection and Defense.
policy and action. J. Homeland Secur. Emerg. Manag. 1(3), 301.
2. Kastner, J. and Ackleson, J. (2006). Chapter 6: global trade and food security: perspectives for
the twenty-first century. In Homeland Security: Protecting America’s Targets, J. J. F. Forest,
Ed. Praeger Security International, Westport, CT and London, pp. 98–116.
3. FDA (2006). Food Defense Awareness: FDA Satellite Broadcast.
4. Koolmees, P. (2000). Chapter 4: Veterinary inspection and food hygiene in the twentieth
century. In Food, Science, Policy and Regulation in the Twentieth Century, F. S. David and J.
Phillips, Eds. Routledge, New York, pp. 53–68.
5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2007). Food Defense and Terrorism, 10 December [cited
28 January 2008]. Available from: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/∼dms/defterr.html
6. United States Department of Agriculture (2002). Kansas State and Country Data, Vol. 1.
Geographic Area Series Part 15 , National Agricultural Statistic Service.
7. Hui, Y. H., Hip, W.-K., Rogers, R. W., and Young, A., Eds. Meat Science and Applications,
Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 2001.
8. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Risk Management Division Office of Infrastructure
Protection (2005). Characteristics and Common Vulnerabilities, Infrastructure Category, Beef
9. Franz, D. (2006). A multidisciplinary overview of food safety and security. Biological Security:
An International Perspective (presentation of 18 May 2006, Kansas State University).
10. Jaax, J. (2006) A multidisciplinary overview of food safety and security. The Agricultural
Bioterrorism Threat (presentation of 16 May 2006, Kansas State University)
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