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Dr. Oliver Named Editor of New Peer-reviewed Journal.

KNOXVILLE, March 08, 2004 —

Dr. Stephen P. Oliver, Ph.D., professor in the University of Tennessee Department of Animal Science and co-director of the UT Food Safety Center of Excellence, is the editor of the new peer-reviewed journal, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.

The innovative new publication features the most up-to-date information on developments in the effort to combat food-borne pathogens and prevent related illnesses. The inaugural issue was launched March 1 and is available free online at

The recent hepatitis outbreaks in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and elsewhere illustrate the complex nature of food safety, including production, transportation and trade, and safe preparation practices.

Dr. Stephen P. Oliver
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"While the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 Americans die each year from food-borne illnesses," Oliver said.

The risk of food-borne illness has increased markedly over the last 20 years, with nearly a quarter of the U.S. population at higher risk, including senior citizens, expectant mothers, infants and young children, the chronically ill, and individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatments, according to Oliver.

"As Americans have grown accustomed to a greater variety of foods, particularly seafood, fresh vegetables and year-round fruit, more foods are imported from international sources," he said.

"We also eat more meals away from home, and as more people are involved in preparing our meals, the chances for food-borne illness increase dramatically," Oliver said.

As co-director of the UT Food Safety Center of Excellence, Oliver is responsible for directing the center's efforts in helping Tennessee and the nation deal with public health hazards emerging from food-related industries. Major efforts of the center include reducing the occurrence of food-borne illness and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in foods, controlling diseases in food-producing animals, reducing environmental contamination during animal production and food processing, and improving consumer education on issues related to food safety.

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