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Global food safety as a complex adaptive system: Key concepts and future prospects
- Nayak, Rounaq, Waterson, Patrick
- Trends in food science & technology 2019 v.91 pp. 409-425
- accidents, food production, food safety, food supply chain, foodborne illness, globalization, poisoning, systems analysis
- Over the last few decades the food production, distribution and consumption chains have become complex as a result of globalisation and food travelling over large distances. The food supply chain is a multi-layered structure with multiple interactions across and within the hierarchical levels across the entire food system. As unwanted factors and food safety behaviours could lead to global food poisoning catastrophes, it is important to adopt a systems approach to gain a whole-system perspective of the global food system.In this review the importance of adopting a complex systems approach towards the global food system and a possible systems analysis method that would help capture this perspective are described. This study emphasizes the importance of adopting a proactive approach, starting with identifying the similarities between the characteristics of complex systems and the food system and the importance and benefits of adopting a whole system approach in the global food system.Adopting a complex systems approach to the global food system is of paramount relevance as this would help further understand the interconnectivity of food systems and how multifaceted factors across systemic levels play a major role in achieving food safety. Using a systems analysis model such as the Systems-Theoretic Accident Models and Processes (STAMP) model provides the ability to tackle the limitations of event chain models and analyse the complex interactions among various components in the complex food system. It is the need of the hour to study food systems at micro and macro-levels and develop a model that would have the ability to identify food safety related issues across the global food system.