NIST has extensive experience in preparation and characterization of reference materials and providing measurement support through quality assurance programs for food nutrition, to support US industry in meeting labeling requirements. Leveraging this expertise as well as strong relationships with stakeholders in the food industry, NIST is poised to be a leader in providing metrology solutions to address food safety challenges. Food safety is a broad topic, ranging from heavy metals, toxins, and residue contamination resulting from growth conditions to allergens, bacteria, or other contamination occurring during processing and/or packaging. Food safety can also extend to authenticity, fraud, and adulteration, or even to potential spoilage. As nearly a $1 trillion contribution to the US GDP, the US food supply represents a huge economic asset, that must be protected. This workshop will bring experts from the food industry, government, academia, and support organizations (e.g., trade and standards organizations, instrument manufacturers) together with metrology experts to discuss challenges and possible solutions facing laboratories charged with ensuring the safety of the US and global food supply.
The outcomes of this workshop are now available online in two NIST Special Publications. The main report (NIST SP 1251) covers the content from the workshop, including invited presentations, audience questions, and a summary of action items. The complementary report (NIST SP 1252) provides an overview of content from the debrief session attended by representatives from reference material producers and national metrology institutes following the main workshop, and includes prospective actions to ensure global food safety.