Food safety & security
As humans we must ensure the safety and security of our food supplies - and as microbiologists we have a role to play.
Ensuring that global food production is secure remains a constant challenge, which is increasingly threatened by factors such as climate change and an expanding global population. Applied microbiologists play a key role in many aspects of food security, through identifying and mitigating food safety risks and supporting agriculture & aquaculture by tackling animal, fish and plant diseases. Microbiology is also fundamental for the production of foods such as chesse, wine and bread and other dietary additions for instance probiotics and neutraceuticals. Microbiology research will continue to be of importance to food security through new discoveries in areas including antimicrobial resistance (AMR), microbiomes and new food sources.
In 2018, the Society embarked on a science policy project on the Future of Food Safety. Covering topics such as Brexit, new agricultural techniques and food processing, this project aims to highlight microbiological food safety as a key component of food security.
This briefing focuses on recent and upcoming developments in food processing, food manufacture and the wider food supply chain, which will have an impact on risks related to harmful microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) and their toxins in foods.
In July 2018, the Society for Applied Microbiology held a roundtable discussion on the potential impacts of departing the European Union on food safety in the UK, focusing on issues related to science.