S39 A Map to a Safer Future: Applications of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing for Food Safety

Tuesday, August 2, 2016: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
220-221 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Primary Contact: Daniel Weller
Organizers: Lily Yang , Martin Wiedmann and Daniel Weller
Convenors: Martin Wiedmann and Daniel Weller
While opportunities for the application of GIS-RS exist throughout the farm-to-fork chain, relatively few food safety specialists use GIS-RS. In fact, much of the GIS-RS-based food safety research is being conducted by individuals outside the IAFP community (e.g., ecologists). Despite its widespread use in other fields, GIS-RS is therefore underutilized by food safety specialists. This symposium will discuss (1) different ways GIS-RS is currently being applied throughout the farm-to-fork chain and in outbreak response, (2) potential applications of GIS-RS for food safety, and (3) the utility of GIS-RS for big data management. The proposed symposia are, therefore, an ideal follow-up to the Big Data Symposia held at IAFP 2014.

GIS-RS is a powerful tool for data collection, management and analysis. For example, researchers in academia are using RS data in GIS platforms to predict the risk of microbial contamination in production environments. Similarly, government agencies use GIS to improve food traceability and investigate outbreaks. However, these applications do not fully utilize the data management, and analysis capabilities of GIS-RS, especially when compared to other scientific fields. For example, precision agriculture uses GIS to maximize crop yields while minimizing capital inputs. However, the same data that is being generated for these analyses could also be used to develop targeted, adaptive pre-harvest risk management plans. GIS-RS also has tremendous potential to model and predict the effects of climate change on food safety. The use of GIS-RS will require a shift toward interdisciplinary collaborations between academia, government and industry, and will require the standardized collection and sharing of data. Food safety specialists from all three facets of food safety, therefore, need to have an understanding of GIS-RS. This symposium will work to bridge the gap between GIS-RS practitioners and food safety specialists, while exploring current and potential applications of GIS-RS to food safety.


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