In recent times, we often hear through the media that the Food Safety Control Inspector has closed down a food handling plant or café, expressing that the items were contaminated with microbes and allergens, which could have resulted in food poisoning. This closure of a manufacturing plant or restaurant not only results in a loss for the respective business but also puts the health of consumers at risk. Therefore, it is not surprising that food safety has emerged as one of the most pressing issues to discuss and a constant source of concern, all across the globe.
For many years, the subject of guaranteeing food handling guidelines has developed into significantly more convoluted issues with a progression of interconnected elements. Numerous safety risks can now be avoided, thanks to advances in technology and science, such as the creation of high-precision analytical instruments and improved preservation and agricultural practices. On the contrary, a few modern scientific practices, like using more additives and other chemicals, have also changed the food supply chains in a negative manner. In addition, the issue of food safety has been expanded by a number of additional factors, including an expanding population, a growing media base, a global recession, and a lack of consumer awareness.
Food safety is an essential component of the food industry, and its significance cannot be overstated. Every participant in the food chain process is responsible for food safety, whether they are a distributor, consumer, or manufacturer. Despite the fact that food globalization has brought food from various areas to your doorstep, consumers face a high risk of food contamination.
In order to ensure food safety, authorities must implement different methods at each level of food processing and should devise effective strategies to avoid contamination. Cooking food at the right temperature and for the right amount of time is also essential to ensure food safety as it helps in reducing the microbial count.
In order to safeguard a country’s food supply, the food chain must be monitored and regulated in accordance with scientific principles of food safety. From production at the farm to manufacturing, dispersal, storage, transportation, and consumption, ensuring food safety encompasses numerous levels. In order to protect public health, it is necessary to limit foodborne illnesses and educate all consumers, including food handlers, to ensure healthy practices of food handling.
Food-borne illnesses cause thousands of deaths and diseases each year worldwide. This is a problem that cannot be avoided and significantly affects public health. However, many of these diseases and deaths can be avoided with proper food safety guidelines. In addition to decreasing the number of foodborne illnesses, ongoing improvements in food safety may result in social and economic advantages. One such professor and researcher who has helped people and businesses in maintaining food safety standards through his work and expertise in food policy and food distribution is Sylvain Charlebois.
A popular personality in Canadian academia, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois has made significant contributions to the food industry. He has established himself as one of Canada’s most esteemed academic administrators thanks to his accomplishments as a researcher and professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Charlebois became Dean of the Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy in Saskatchewan in his late thirties. After he gained valuable knowledge in Saskatchewan, Charlebois joined the University of Guelph as a professor. He later became the Dean of Management at Dalhousie University in 2016, where he continued to pursue his passion for economics and food systems.
Charlebois co-authored research articles on the performance of the Canadian Wheat Board’s Daily Price Contract program, Canadian attitudes toward GMOs, and edible cannabis products after publishing Canada’s Food Price Report in 2010. Comparing traceability systems and global food safety, which comprises studies on various allergens and their labeling, constitutes a significant portion of Charlebois’s research. In 2019, Charlebois and his team of skilled and trained individuals published a cost evaluation of Canada’s Food Guide.
Canada’s Food Price Report was also written by Charlebois and he was the one who coined the new term “shelflation,” which is widely used in the grocery industry. Charlebois has won numerous accolades throughout his long and successful career, including the University of Guelph’s Bill Braithwaite MBA Distinguished Professorial Award (2015), the Dalhousie University Faculty of Management’s Researcher of the Year Award, the Emerald Lit Award for Highly Commended Research (2008), and the Emerald Lit Award for Highly Commended Research (2012).
Charlebois also co-hosts the Food Professor podcast with Michael Leblanc and writes a blog called The Food Professor for the magazine Canadian Grocer. Apart from writing at least 200 research articles on global food safety and systems, he is also the co-author of several books. His most well-known works include Pas Dans Mon Assiette: Manger Est-Il Devenu Risqué (2010), Food Safety, Risk Intelligence and Benchmarking (2016), Poutine nation: La glorieuse ascension d’un plat sans pretention (2021), The Food Professor and La révolution des protéines: Sauver la planète un repas à la fois (2022). He’s been a columnist for La Presse in Montreal since 2001 and writes regular op-eds in the Globe and Mail in Toronto.
Charlebois has contributed to the expansion of Canada’s food industry as a whole and ensured the health and safety of consumers worldwide through his research and knowledge. He has contributed to society’s protection against food-borne illnesses, which can result in serious health-related problems and even demise.