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The food safety metrics can be grouped by type of contaminant: biological, chemical, or physical. Mycotoxins are often cited as potential biological contaminants that affect food safety and may lead to chronic illness if excessive mycotoxins exist in a given product1.
In addition, post-harvest losses due to toxicity occur in agricultural production. These post-harvest losses may occur during harvesting, post-harvest handling and storage, processing and distribution, and during preparation and consumption. The most common measure of post-harvest loss is through questionnaires where a household is asked whether they incurred any post-harvest loss, the cause of the loss, and what proportion of the harvest was lost2.
Pesticide contamination is an issue that also requires additional attention in protecting food safety and quality. Pesticide contaminations have been observed to be fatal in cases where quantities in food products are not tested or regulated. In developed economies, these tests have been instituted, but in developing economies, where new technologies are disseminated or tested, measures to examine contamination and its effect on human health are required.
1Milicevic et al., 2010
2Kamiski and Christiaensen, 2014