Infected food does not always announce itself with a bad smell, look or taste, so it takes more than human senses to detect microbes.
Almost one in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food, according to the World Health Organization. Changes in the way we produce, distribute and consume food, as well as new pathogens and an increase in travel and trade, all add to the international risks to food safety.
And when you’re traveling, the last thing you want to deal with is getting sick.
Enter science and technology. A simple swab and test can give food preparers in restaurants and hotels an inside look at how clean – or not – surfaces are.
In East Asia, some hotels and restaurants are using this technology as they cater to a growing international clientele. According to Angie Cheung, food safety manager at a hotel in Hong Kong, the answer lies in prevention by monitoring the cleanliness of surfaces and equipment.
Experts estimate that, when it comes to thwarting food-related illnesses and injuries, more change has occurred in the past ten years than the previous thirty.