BackgroundFood safety is a priority for all stakeholders associated with the food supply and consumption. Outbreaks and recalls caused by microbial pathogens are widely attributed to contaminated foods, and lead to considerable public health and economic burdens. Scope and approarchThis review presented major current trends in food safety research, regulation and strategic development. Specifically we discussed about: (i) worldwide application of genomic data in foodborne pathogen surveillance and outbreak investigation; (ii) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in food safety to prevent and predict pathogen contamination; (iii) modeling tools adapted from landscape ecology, network analysis and niche modeling to prevent foodborne diseases; and (iv) meta-analysis of food safety data to facilitate decision making. Key findings and conclusionsWhile some of these technologies are receiving increasing recognition around the world (e.g., WGS), others are still at their infancy in regards to their application in food safety (e.g., meta-analysis). The establishment of relevant, valid and multi-dimensional databases is the key to effective application of many new trends in food safety described in this review.

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