The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council reports several developments and trends in the food safety system. However, much development has taken place since the publishing of the report in 1998 (Wallace & Oria 35). The developments are characterised by some structures that enlighten any valuation of the food safety system. The major developments and trends are; demand for fresh food, food safety system modernisation, changes in dining places, and supply chain traceability.
The development of the global food market has led to drastic changes in consumer perception and behaviour. Consumer expected a wide variety of bizarre and off-season foods. In returns, fruits and vegetables continue to increase since 1998(Wallace & Oria 37). Fruit consumption is predicted to increase by five to eight per cent by 2020 with little increase in vegetables. Consumers have, therefore, adopted the trend of spending more money on buying more meals away from home. The trend has resulted in challenges as restaurants have to prepare and serve fresh food to more customers. The trend has also posed new challenges to firms as they have to balance between the cost of foods and supply of fresh foods (Wallace & Oria 38). Consumer perception and behaviour towards food safety have as well significantly changed. Many consumers have become knowledgeable and aware of the emerging foodborne microorganisms, health risk foods, vulnerable population, and food handling practices. However, the knowledge is sometimes incomplete or irrelevant.
There has been increasing in the trend of importing food because of the expansion and liberalisation of international trade. However, the FDA oversees the food before importation. Subsequently, there is an increase in the necessity for a vigorous regulatory body that can guarantee the safety of food importations (Wallace & Oria 39). However, there is no best agreement on the best regulatory body. The congressional hearings developed a strategy that recommended both comprehensive and precise measures that would improve the safety of all imported foods.
There has been rapid development in some food amenities synchronised by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and constant changes in food production. The food and agriculture have undergone various integration and consolidation (Wallace & Oria 36). Wholesale shops have changed to retail grocery landscape in the U.S resulting in decreasing in large firms. The changes have also resulted in the development and implementation of private principles which has transformed the initiative of food safety. For example, the development of the leadership council on Farm produces criterions for the farming and reaping of fresh food.
Additional development is the increased food production in the United States leading to climate change by emitting a large number of greenhouse gases. The dangerous released gases result in increased incidences of foodborne illnesses, zoonotic diseases, mycotoxin, biotoxins, and environmental contamination (Wallace & Oria 37). Increase in some agricultural and food manufacturing industries has led to increases in environmental pollution in the U.S (Wallace & Oria 41). The bioavailability and accumulation of pollutants in the food chain has as well been of concern in the U.S. as it results to health risk factors.
The occurrence of many food scandals including the horsemeat scandal, consumers have been demanding supply chain traceability on the food. The trend towards the consumption of more fresh produce has been on the increase in the U.S (Wallace & Oria 40). Many companies have been on rising looking for blockchain technology to track finished products without contaminating the food. After the outbreak of many foodborne diseases, the U.S FDA has brought about drastic changes in the food safety system. The government placed greater emphasis on preventive programs, HACCP, and on industry responsibilities (Wallace & Oria 60). The FDA released a reorganised strategy for implication and training of FSMA.
Wallace B. Robert and Oria Maria. National Research Council. Enhancing food safety: the role of the Food and Drug Administration. National Academies Press, Washington, D. C, 2010.