Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 19;18(8):4335. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18084335.
The current SARS-COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the dangers that airborne virus (AV) pandemics pose to the health of all workers (particularly in the meat processing industry), the economic health of the food industry, and food security. The impact that the current pandemic has had on the food industry points to the need for a proactive rather than reactive approach towards preventing future AV outbreaks. Such a proactive approach should be based on empirical assessments of current AV food safety practices and the development of more robust practices tailored to the culture and needs of the food industry. Moreover, a proactive approach is necessary in order to better prepare the food industry for future AV outbreaks, protect the health of workers, reduce disparities in AV occupational health risks, and enhance the safety of the food supply chain. The aim of this review is to make the case for a new food safety research paradigm that incorporates the intensive study of airborne viruses under conditions that simulate food industry work environments.