Guam – Food safety is the focus of a training held at the Guam Department of Homeland Security this week.
The discussion however is not about cooking foods at the right temperatures but on how to prevent food products from being tampered with intentionally.
The training is presented by Guam Homeland Security and the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Regulators, farmers and food producers participating in the training are looking at the vulnerabilities in our food continuum.
Trainer Ray Burden of the University of Tennessee Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparation says its important to see where security is lacking because that is where toxins and diseases can be introduced to food or livestock potentially harming a large portion of the population.
“We know just from looking at accidental outbreaks of either food born illness or animal disease that it can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars to address those and when you look at the use of a toxin that could potentially create ten thousand deaths or more,” Burden said of the impact food tampering could have on society. “Certainty just the economic issue of that would go into the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars easily.”
The training continues through Friday.