S34 Crowdsourcing and Novel Digital Data: 21st Century Tools for Food Safety Monitoring, Surveillance, and Management

Tuesday, August 2, 2016: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
227 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Matthew Moore
Organizers: Matthew Moore , Hari Dwivedi and Lily Yang
Convenors: Hari Dwivedi , Benjamin Chapman and Donald W. Schaffner
The digital revolution has changed the availability of data related to food consumption, consumer patronage of food establishments and food safety incidences linked to consumer activities. One such source of online monitoring is through crowdsourcing by utilizing popular social networking sites (i.e.: Twitter, Facebook, GrubHub, Foursquare, and Yelp) to gather consumer experiences at retail establishments in real-time. Additionally, the development of dedicated resources such as smartphone apps and websites (like the disruptive site IWasPoisoned.com) that allow consumers to directly share adverse food experiences provide other means of valuable crowdsourced data. Such reports and reviews have the potential to be utilized as novel additional sources of information for routine foodborne outbreak surveillance. Not surprisingly, careful filtering through a large amount of social “noise” and consideration of actual disease etiology (i.e. incubation period, symptoms, etc.) are necessary to render such information useful. Furthermore, a proper degree of social participation in sharing and reporting adverse experiences regarding food also needs to occur. Another digital source of real time food consumption information that can be utilized to aid outbreak investigation is food sales data. However, utilizing all of these tools presents multiple potential pitfalls, as many considerations are required for them to be effective.

 In the proposed symposium, considerations regarding these newly available tools to supplement and monitor food safety event data will be discussed by global experts in food safety and extension followed by a brief open discussion with audience interaction.


Discussion will include:

I) filtering and discriminating relevant crowdsourcing information for effective use

II) the degree of participation required for these tools

III) maintaining both corporate and individual privacy

IV) the specific type and form of real time food safety data through traditional surveillance routes required for these tools

V) challenges in digital food safety management


11:00 AM
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