Food Borne Pathogens, Diseases & Public Health

The epidemiology of foodborne infection is changing. New pathogens have emerged, and some have spread worldwide. Many bacteria including Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, and Yersinia enterocolitica, have reservoirs in healthy food animals, from which they are spreadind to an increased variety of foods. These pathogens cause millions of cases of sporadic illness and chronic complication, as well as large and challenging outbreaks over many states and nations. Improved surveillance that combines rapid subtyping method, cluster identification, and collaborative epidemiologic investigation can identify large, dispersed outbreaks. Outbreak investigations and case-control studies of sporadic cases can identify infection sources and guide the development of specific prevention strategies. Better understanding of how pathogens are persisting in animal reservoirs is also critical to successful long-term prevention. Prevention of foodborne disease will increasingly depend on contamination control of feed and water consumed by the animals themselves.

Foodborne pathogens cause a considerable public health burden and challenge. They cause illnesses and deaths in all populations. The majority of the pathogens causing this significant disease burden are now considered to be zoonotic. The most important source of foodborne disease is raw or improperly cooked food. Food handlers play a major role in ensuring food safety throughout the chain of food production. The most commonly recognized foodborne infections are those caused by bacteria, viruses, mycotoxins; marine bio toxins and parasites. Symptoms of foodborne diseases greatly depend on the type of pathogen. The general strategy of prevention of foodborne diseases require the application of surveillance and information systems for these diseases and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system in the food production chain from farm to consumers and import/export regulations.
  • Agroterrorism
  • Emerging foodborne pathogens
  • Emergence of drug and antimicrobial resistance
  • New food vehicles of transmission
  • Methods and technology for rapid and accurate detection
  • New approaches to the prevention of foodborne disease
  • Safety of organically grown and genetically modified foods
  • Novel strategies for the prevention and control of plant and animal diseases that impact food safety
  • Biosecurity issues and the implications of new regulatory guidelines
  • Impact of changing lifestyles and consumer demands on food safety
  • Implications of the new outbreak scenario for public health activities

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Food Borne Pathogens, Diseases & Public Health Conference Speakers