Key Food Safety Trends & Forecasts 2024 Report Highlights

Last month we published our annual “Key Food Safety Trends 2024” report where we showcased the incident trend forecasts about the Top 10 Food Categories for the next year as well as emerging risks, new hazards and geographies with high risk for incident around the globe.

Additionally, the report included 5 use cases on the application of AI-powered forecasting for boosting early warning proactive measures in real recorded outbreaks from 2023 such the lead poisoning in applesauce products a few months back.

A few of the highlights of the report include:

  • Increasing likelihood of chemical hazards in Milk & Milk Products, particularly for PFAS (like Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid)
  • Increasing trend of pesticide residues in Fat & Oil products
  • Higher likelihood of Food Fraud incidents in Meat & Meat products 
  • Increase trend of 30% in the number of incidents in Confectionary products, owing to increased biological hazards (Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes)
  • Increased risk of pesticide use for various food product categories including Herbs & Spices, Fats & Oils, Cocoa, Coffee & Tea, and Confectionary
  • The US showcased as a country of high risk for incidents in 7 out of the 10 product categories (Milk & Milk products, Cereals & Bakery, Cocoa, Coffee & Tea, Nuts & Seeds, Fruits & Vegetables, Meat & Meat products, Poultry & Poultry Meat Products & Confectionary.
  • Several early signs regarding the lead poisoning in applesauce products outbreak of 2023 that could have prevented the outbreak
  • Forecasting can strengthen food safety risk decision making throughout the supply chain

Milk & Milk Products Forecasts

Which is the trend so far?

  • Increasing trend of incidents during the last 3 years
  • The number of incidents has more than tripled during last years (from 304 in 2020 to 1115 in 2023)

Key forecasted trend for the next 12 months

  • A decrease in incidents trend by 17% is forecasted
  • The number of incidents is expected to peak at the end of 2024

Explanation of deviations/differences of actual vs forecasts

  • AI model did not manage to forecast a peak in December 2023 which was due to an increased
  • number of incidents E. Coli in Cheese products.

Existing / known and still trending hazards

  • Escherichia coli
  • Listeria spp.

Emerging hazards that we see in the horizon

  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFAS)

Explanation of Emerging hazards

  • PFAS are characterized by their environmental persistence, which leads to their accumulation & biomagnification in food chains

Read the full report here.

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Funding for this research has been provided by the European Union’s Horizon Europe innovation programme ΤΙΤΑΝ (Grant Agreement Number 101060739). Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are, however, those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.