Fred R. Shank

Building on the success of its “IFT Expert Report on Biotechnology and Foods” (see Food Technology, August 2000, pp. 124–136 and September 2000, pp. 53–74), the Institute of Food Technologists has prepared a second Expert Report, “IFT Expert Report on Emerging Microbiological Food Safety Issues: Implications for Control in the 21st Century.” This report, which will be released at IFT’s second International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo in Atlanta, Ga., on February 20–22, 2002, will provide a scientific basis for ongoing discussions about food safety management and appropriate regulatory policies..

The report will contain seven sections: “Introduction,” “Science of Pathogenicity,” “Humans as Hosts of Foodborne Disease,” “Microbial Ecology of Foodborne Disease,” “Application of Science to Food Safety Management,” “Next Steps in Food Safety Management,” and “Conclusions.”

Immediately after public release, the complete report, as well as summaries and answers to frequently asked questions, will be available on the IFT Web site at A preview of the report’s contents can be found in an article by Mary Helen Arthur, science information manager in IFT’s Dept. of Science Communications and lead editor of the IFT Expert Report, on pp. 48–51 of this issue.

The development and dissemination of the report is a priority activity for IFT’s Office of Science, Communications, and Government Relations. The report and accompanying materials will provide IFT members with improved understanding of the complex factors involved in the emergence of new microbiological food safety issues and insight into opportunities for control and prevention. In addition, the report will be used in IFT outreach efforts to government officials, the news media, and others, advocating the scientific perspective on the important issue of food safety.

A report this comprehensive and in-depth requires the expertise and dedication of numerous individuals. To address an issue as broad as microbiological food safety, IFT assembled a panel of IFT members and other individuals with a diverse range of expertise. The panel’s collective wisdom and insight yielded an intricate picture of microbiological food safety issues and the myriad challenges inherent in control and prevention of foodborne illness. Each individual’s expertise added depth and nuance to the discussion, producing a report that articulates and explores the wealth of science behind food safety.

IFT is deeply grateful to the following panel members for their expertise, their time, and their passion for improving food safety:
Morris Potter (chair), Food and Drug Administration
Douglas Archer, University of Florida
Andrew Benson, University of Nebraska
Frank Busta, University of Minnesota
James S. Dickson, Iowa State University
Michael Doyle, University of Georgia
Jeffrey Farber, Health Canada
B. Brett Finlay, University of British Columbia
Michael Goldblatt, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Sciences Office
Craig Hedberg, University of Minnesota
Dallas Hoover, University of Delaware
Michael Jahncke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Lee-Ann Jaykus, North Carolina State University
Charles Kaspar, University of Wisconsin
Arthur P. Liang, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
James Lindsay, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
James Pestka, Michigan State University
Merle Pierson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Peter Slade, National Center for Food Safety and Technology
R. Bruce Tompkin, ConAgra Refrigerated Prepared Foods
Mary Lou Tortorello, National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Food and Drug Administration

IFT Vice President, Science, Communications, and
Government Relations