Food Hygiene and Applied Food Microbiology in an Anthropological Cross Cultural Perspective

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The book demonstrates that food safety is a multidisciplinary scientific discipline that

is specifically designed to prevent foodborne illness to consumers. It is generally assumed

to be an axiom by both nonprofessionals and professionals alike, that the most

developed countries, through their intricate and complex standards, formal trainings

and inspections, are always capable of providing much safer food items and beverages

to consumers as opposed to the lesser developed countries and regions of the world.

Clearly, the available data regarding the morbidity and the mortality in different areas

of the world confirms that in developing countries, the prevalence and the incidence of

presumptive foodborne illness is much greater. However, other factors need to be taken

into consideration in this overall picture: First of all, one of the key issues in developing

countries appears to be the availability of safe drinking water, a key element in any

food safety strategy. Second, the availability of healthcare facilities, care providers, and

medicines in different parts of the world makes the consequences of foodborne illness

much more important and life threatening in lesser developed countries than in most

developed countries.

It would be therefore ethnocentric and rather simplistic to state

that the margin of improvement in food safety is only directly proportional to the

level of development of the society or to the level of complexity of any given national

or international standard. Besides standards and regulations, humans as a whole have

evolved and adapted different strategies to provide and to ensure food and water safety

according to their cultural and historical backgrounds. Our goal is to discuss and to

compare these strategies in a cross-cultural and technical approach, according to the

realities of different socio-economic, ethnical and social heritages.

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Springer International Publishing AG
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