Experts gathered for the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines warn the world’s food supply is vulnerable to terrorist attack. Floyd Horn is administrator of the U-S Department of Agriculture’s Ag Research Service.
Horn says the events of September 11th show terrorists will resort to any means to inflict mass death and destruction on their perceived enemies.
Michael Doyle of the University of Georgia’s “Center for Food Safety” says intentionally tainting food would be easy in the U-S because of our food distribution system.
Doyle says beverages and ready-to-eat foods, like those bagged salads, are among the most vulnerable to contamination. Doyle says if there is a widespread outbreak of food-borne illness, it’ll be hard to track it down.
Doyle also warns there is very little workforce security in meatpacking plants, dairies and other facilities that process food. He says unscrupulous employees in these plants could put them at high risk.
Doyle says many harmful bacteria can be killed if food is properly heated and cooked. But he warns America’s reliance on ready-to-consume foods, like tuna salad from the deli, makes us more vulnerable because those kinds of foods are rarely heated before it’s eaten.