Thursday, August 2, 2018

Safe Food - Product Lifetime of the blog

All products have a lifetime, after which sales drop off.  The usual response is either to discontinue the line, or to set the New Product Developers (NPD) to updating the product.  Think of ice cream.  There will probably always be a market for ice cream, but the flavours of your childhood have been surpassed and the presentation has changed dramatically.  You now have the options of ice creams on sticks, with creamy toffee, chocolate or fruit puree centres, coated in chocolate and nuts etc.

Safe Food first appeared in November 2006 while I was working at Hong Kong University.  The wide varieties of foods in HK are completely different from those of our adopted country, New Zealand, though the safety issues are similar.  I felt the need to write about the hazards associated with foods to help ordinary folk and food manufacturers to understand food safety, with the aim of reducing the incidence of food-mediated illness. I hoped the blog would become a resource for teachers in schools.

I have no idea whether these lofty aims were successful!  The blog has only 10 followers 😢 but in the 12 years I have been writing it, there have been nearly 348,000 page views, so I guess that means that some people have found it useful.



Very few people have left comments on the blog, though some have contacted me directly - usually young mothers who have had food scares with their babies and young children.

There are only so many unique food safety incidents to report on.  Often contamination and recalls merely reflect the sad fact that manufacturers, distributors and consumers don't learn from earlier incidents.  This is one of the reasons that Safe Food has not been published so frequently in the years since I retired from full time teaching and research.  Perhaps the blog has become stale and "same old, same old".

It's time for some NPD!  I have decided to continue writing the blog, but I want to widen the scope just a bit so that I can comment on some of the food myths that are now so frequently proliferated by minor celebrities, fanatics and those who can best be described as "loonies".  There are exciting new developments in foods, such as the plant-based milk and meat substitutes, most recently exemplified by Air New Zealand's offering The Impossible Burger on some of its flights, and I want to discuss these evolutions in food supply.

I may also update the appearance of the blog, so, watch this space and please consider following.


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