ABSTRACT The topic of food safety continues to receive increased attention and has ramifications on various human, environmental, policy, and economic levels worldwide. By garnering feedback from 30 food industry experts, this study was undertaken to identify the most critical issues facing the food industry in relation to food safety. According to expert opinion and after three rounds of Delphi inquiry, food contamination detection, outbreaks, and prevention along with governmental oversight, education for and communication with consumers and employees, and globalization were identified as the main areas at the forefront of food safety. Delphi and constant comparative research methods are explained, and suggestions on how to make meaning from the results to progress in this area are discussed. HIGHLIGHTS Experts identified 42 critical safety issues currently facing the food industry. Contamination, government involvement, education, and globalization are top issues. Issues also have themes related to technology, DNA sequencing, and emerging trends. Government oversight for outbreaks is a priority area of challenge and opportunity.