Athens, Ga. – Although the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, illnesses from contaminated foods, such as bagged spinach and peanut butter, have been making U.S. newspaper headlines recently. Reports increasingly reveal that tainted foods and food ingredients are the products of China, Belgium, Peru and other countries. So how safe is the food we eat? Can we protect ourselves from unsafe imported foods and products?
The University of Georgia College of Public Health and Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute hope to address some of these issues with a public lecture on food safety. The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 in Masters Hall at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.
The evening lecture, titled “Is your food safe to eat?” is part of a new series featuring Georgia experts and aimed at increasing community knowledge and awareness about the public health issues in the media and at home. The program, which originated in the BHSI, now partners with the CPH’s Outreach and Engagement activities, run by associate dean and professor of epidemiology Robert Galen.
The featured speaker will be international food safety expert Michael Doyle, Regents Professor of Food Microbiology and director of UGA’s Center for Food Safety. He is one of the country’s leading authorities on E. coli bacteria and his research focuses on developing methods to detect and control foodborne bacterial pathogens at all levels of the food continuum, from the farm to the table.
Doyle has also served as a scientific advisor to many groups, including the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Doyle’s talk will be followed with a presentation on the restaurant inspection process and other food safety issues relevant to the Athens community. It will be led by Dr. Claude Burnett, director of the Georgia Division of Health Northeast Heath District and CPH adjunct professor.
“One of our major goals is to improve the health of Georgians, and providing useful information about health risks to the community is one way to do this,” said Galen.
Audience members will be able to address their own specific concerns at the question-and-answer session at the end.
For more information about this event and the UGA Community Lecture Series on Public Health Issues, see www.biomed.uga.edu.