With about four million food-borne illnesses happening in Canada each year, food safety is an important public health issue. And because it involves various factors from farm to table, food safety is very complicated to secure.
That’s why cooperation between the food industry, public health sectors and even consumers is needed to improve food safety. For instance, producers should avoid food contamination from environmental and human sources. To achieve a high degree of safety, food processors rely on modern sterilization, preservation and detection methods. These methods are based on molecular microbiology and biotechnology to reduce food contamination.
Food service workers also have a role in food safety and should comply with basic food hygiene principles.
The food safety surveillance programs of the provincial and federal governments keep track of food-borne illnesses. This allows food safety specialists to respond rapidly to food-borne outbreaks.
Due to the complex nature of food safety, adequate food safety education requires a multidisciplinary approach involving many scientific areas, such as food science, microbiology, chemistry, toxicology, (veterinary/human) medicine, animal science, epidemiology, environmental health, health promotion, health policy and global health.
The interdisciplinary training provided in the MPH program in food safety will help students develop a strong skill set in public health aspects of food safety. These such as disease/illness outcomes, food-borne disease surveillance, epidemiology, toxicology, risk assessment, risk management, and so on.
This new program will provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to bring a public health and food science perspective to their work as they seek to address the complex issues of food safety.