The reasons for the enhanced recognition of the importance of food safety relates to changes across the globe. The traditional concern for food safety has been focused on residues from environmental chemicals, drugs and other toxic agents which can accumulate in animal tissue. Recently, however, the discovery of microbial pathogens that do not affect animals but which cause human illness has changed the equation of concern. Organisms such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella Enteritidis are examples of these newly emerged pathogens. In addition to causing acute digestive distress in affected people, some of the microbial pathogens have chronic consequences which can last a lifetime.

Food preferences have changed so that the meat of wild animals, either farm bred or naturally harvested, is increasingly common on the menus of restaurants and in the homes of consumers. Fish, whether caught in the wild or farmed, is also increasing in popularity with consumers world-wide.

This volume concentrates on the microbial foodborne pathogens associated with the major categories of animals that provide food for people around the world. For each category, there are reports from a variety of countries and regions. In addition, contaminants of non-biological origin are discussed. Finally, mention is made of micro-organisms associated with animal manure which can also cause human illness when inappropriately applied as fertiliser, resulting in contamination of fruit and vegetables. The role of animal manure and pathogenic micro-organisms in food safety has indeed become an important issue for ranchers and farmers throughout the world.

This study of hazards to human health from the consumption and use of animal products by 105 authors in 42 papers should attract a wide audience: from animal and public health authorities, food hygienists and risk analysts to the consumer.