The government’s six main objectives for food safety for the next decade, recently unveiled as part of the Healthy People 2020 initiative, are all “reasonable and attainable,” but they require additional data, according to Michael Doyle, PhD, Regents Professor of Food Safety and Microbiology and director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia in Griffin, reports Food Quality magazine.

In December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) debuted Healthy People 2020, which outlines the government’s health promotion and disease prevention goals for the next decade. Its six objectives for food safety are:

• Reducing infections caused by key pathogens transmitted commonly through food;

• Reducing the number of outbreak-associated infections caused by E. coli O157, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Salmonella species in food products, including beef, dairy, fruits and nuts, leafy vegetables, and poultry;

• Preventing an increase in the proportion of non-typhoidal Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni isolates from humans who are resistant to antimicrobial drugs;

• Reducing severe allergic reactions to food;

• Improving compliance with key food safety practices among consumers; and

• Improving food safety practices in food service and retail establishments.

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