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Informatics to Support International Food Safety

Armbruster , Walter J. (Farm Foundation, retired)
Search for Walter J. Armbruster  in Research Programmes Information System
MacDonell, Margaret M. (Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory)
Search for Margaret M. MacDonell in Research Programmes Information System
Chapter Environmental Protection and Health
Volume Proceedings of the 28th Conference on Environmental Informatics - Informatics for Environmental Protection, Sustainable Development and Risk Management
Conference EnviroInfo 2014 - ICT for Energy Effieciency
Oldenburg, 2014
Year 2014
Abstract of the Article
Diseases and pathogens in the food supply cause large numbers of illnesses annually. One example
was the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) outbreak in Germany which resulted in
approximately 4,000 people infected and nearly 50 deaths in 2011. The estimated economic impact
of foodborne illnesses is significant. Governments and the private sector seek to minimize food
safety risks. Informatics plays an increasing role in dealing with the big data generated, which
must be analyzed to support risk assessment, prevention, and mitigation programs to optimize food
safety outcomes. However, economic and organizational issues require attention. Public and
private sector collaborations are necessary to identify food safety outbreaks as a starting point, and
to then trace the potential causes to their sources. The GLOBALG.A.P. initiative is an
international public-private sector collaboration, headquartered in Germany, to assure product
safety throughout the food supply chain to the retail level. Another preventive approach to food
safety is the United States implementation of the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
Informatics plays a key role in providing the analytic framework and procedures at the multiple
levels needed to successfully assess and control the risks involved as food is tracked through the
supply chain. This paper provides additional examples of individual company and international
collaborations to harness big data, provide the analytics, and implement improved food safety
protocols. One issue which must be resolved between producers and companies selling the digital
information systems incorporated into farm machinery working the fields is who owns and
controls the data generated.
Pages 127 - 134
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