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Food Contamination Disasters

  • By: J. J. McIntyre
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Food is central to daily life and necessary to survive. Thus, everyone is vulnerable to food contamination and foodborne illness. When food is contaminated, it can cause disease and even death. Food contamination can be separated into two categories: accidental or intentional. The most prominent of the two by far is accidental contamination; however, in the United States, since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, protecting the food supply has become a vital national defense concern.

Accidental Contamination

Most people do not live on the food they grow themselves, so they rely on food grown, distributed, and sold by others. Food distribution systems can be complex in a global economy, and products such as meats, fruits, and vegetables, which are offered year-round, are handled, stored, and ...

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