Marler Clark, a Seattle-based law firm specializing in food-safety lawsuits, lists these 10 issues as among the main food safety issues of 2009.

Globalization: More international recalls and outbreaks due to expanding globalization of food supply and the challenges of oversight/infrastructure in developing countries. This includes the possibility of bioterrorism and/or intentional adulterations with a profit motive, like melamine.

Local food: Outbreaks linked to local food and/or farmer’s markets, which is uninspected.

Non-O157 Shiga Toxic producing E. Coli (STEC) illnesses and outbreaks (both beef and produce).

Animal-to-human contamination.

Having to do more with less: Public funding for food safety is down, but the workload is growing.

21st Century communication: Food safety agencies need to improve communication with consumers.

Balancing food protection and environmental health.

Rise in zoonotic diseases – viruses jumping from animals to humans (avian influenza is an example).

Consumers and food safety – includes education to traceability.

Pet food ills – supervision of the pet food industry needs improvement.

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