Bill Marler, food safety advocate and managing partner of food-borne illness law firm Marler Clark, asked the food safety community to weigh in on the most pressing food safety challenges for the coming year. Here are a few among those on  Marler's list :

Animal to human contamination: More contamination events involving the whole food chain (from animal feed to animals to humans), according to Marler's Web page.

Twenty-first century communication: In addition to improving communication between each other, food safety agencies need to improve communication with consumers, according to the list by Marler.

Petfood ills: Petfood testing is increasing, so the level of contamination will become more apparent, and we should expect more recalls, Marler said. 

"Food safety is a vital part of the overall health of our country and our economy," said Marler. "The new Obama administration will be facing enormous challenges, and food safety is certainly one of them."