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To what extent are recently developed technological materials that are designed to improve food safety effective in reducing exposure to pathogens and decreasing the risk of foodborne illnesses in the home? (DGAC 2010)

Conclusion

A limited body of inconsistent evidence describes and evaluates contributions to or advances of food safety modalities or practices in the home. These small studies indicate the correct usage of these kinds of products is critical for assessing proper cooking temperature and ensuring adequate reduction of microbial burden on food contact surfaces. Not all thermometers tested, wipes assessed and sanitizers evaluated were accurate or effective in providing correct cooking temperatures or assuring consistent safety against typical foodborne organisms.

Grade

Limited
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Evidence Summaries

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To what extent are recently developed technological materials that are designed to improve food safety effective in reducing exposure to pathogens and decreasing the risk of foodborne illnesses in the home?

Research Recommendations

1) Technologies related to food safety Validation and application of food safety sensors for home appliances and cooking utensils. Rationale: The development of sensors that monitor commercial food processing standards has improved the quality assurance and safety of those food products. Applications of this technology should be incorporated into and validated in home refrigerators, stoves, ovens and cooking utensils.

2) Development, testing and application of environmentally friendly food safety packaging technologies to improve nutritional quality and safety of foods. Rationale: Future packaging materials and in-home containers, in addition to being biodegradable and environmentally friendly, will function beyond protecting the product from contamination and maintaining physical properties to nutritional qualities of foods. Some common food ingredients, such as several kinds of dietary fiber and food flavors, when incorporated into food packing materials, can inhibit the growth of potential pathogens. In addition, some foods, like meats, poultry, and seafood, may be packaged in an environment with different kinds of gases, such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2). Applications of these gases at the levels necessary to inhibit microbial growth in the food supply are considered safe by the FDA. (Title 21, US Code of Federal Regulations, Part 184). These kinds of environments, in conjunction with good sanitation practices, can effectively reduce the risk of microbial growth and subsequent contamination, and extend the quality and shelf life of frozen and refrigerated food products.

Search Plan and Results

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Food Safety Technologies