The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Addressing Foodborne Threats to Health: Policies, Practices, and Global Coordination—Workshop Summary (2006)

Accidental exposure to foodborne diseases causes about 76 million illnesses and 5,200 deaths per year in the United States alone. Notable cases of intentional large-scale food poisoning have occurred both in the United States and abroad. The increased globalization of food production and the growing complexity of food processing and distribution systems allows disease-causing agents to appear in food at numerous locations and stages, and makes it more difficult to prevent and identify origins of foodborne diseases. In October 2005 the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a workshop to explore these issues and develop recommendations for ways to better protect the US food supply. Addressing Foodborne Threats to Health summarizes the content of this workshop, in which participants discussed the globalization of the US food supply, the spectrum of microbial threats to food, case studies of food threats, the organization of food safety systems, costs and benefits of reporting foodborne threats, and surveillance for foodborne illnesses.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

Roughly how many microbes live in the human gastrointestinal tract?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    About ten trillion microbes live in the human gastrointestinal tract. They are essential for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    About ten trillion microbes live in the human gastrointestinal tract. They are essential for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    About ten trillion microbes live in the human gastrointestinal tract. They are essential for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • Correct!

    About ten trillion microbes live in the human gastrointestinal tract. They are essential for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.