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Conference Report. Microbiology Session Significant Pathogens.

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Presentation on theme: "Conference Report. Microbiology Session Significant Pathogens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conference Report

2 Microbiology Session Significant Pathogens

3 Campylobacter b Most common single cause of food poisoning in Europe b Not generally fatal b Causes sporadic rather than large outbreaks

4 Salmonella b 2nd Most common b Often cause of major outbreaks b Poultry major source b Readily killed by cooking b Can be fatal to elderly or v. young.

5 E-coli b Caused by specific strains (0157, 0111, 026) b Only recently isolated b v. low infective dose b can cause severe illness, with fatalities esp. in elderly & young. b found in wide variety of foods but ultimate source likely always animal

6 Listeria monocytogenes b Few cases in UK but some large outbreaks in USA and Europe b Relatively high mortality rate (cause foetal abortion) b Grows at chill temperatures

7 Viruses b Viruses are a much more common cause of food poisoning than previously thought b Viruses are obligate parasites and are carried by food rather than grow on food b Most common are Norwalk Like viruses b Viruses are very difficult to detect

8 Protozoa b Some water borne protozoa such as cryptosporidium are thought to be responsible for some outbreaks b Cyclospora are responsible for outbreaks from soft fruit in the USA and Canada

9 Food Safety & Processing Flair Flow Europe Project

10 Pesticides & Processing b EU directive on pesticide levels b Problems with compliance  Sampling regimes  Variability of results  Implications if pesticides are not used?

11 Novel processes b High pressure b High intensity electric field pulses (HELP) b Ultrasound b Benefits  Lower temperature processing  Lower energy inputs  Improved quality

12 Immuno assay techniques b Method of screening for residues b Rapid b Sensitive b Low cost b Counterintuitive output  High signal goes to low

13 Recycling plastics and paper b Recycled packaging in food applications b Need to ensure no interactions with food b Recycled PET (soft drinks bottles)  effectiveness of cleaning b Barrier technologies (multi-layer packaging)  Prevent diffusion of undesirables

14 Modified atmosphere b Prolongs shelf life b Factors  Choice of gas mix  Hurdles  Packaging  Pathogens b Low O 2 /High CO 2  Optimise for each product

15 Safety & the Food Chain

16 Consumer issues b Problems  Food scares  Food poisoning  Complexity of production & supply chain  Remoteness of consumers  awareness of uncertainty  Leading to b Loss of consumer confidence

17 Consumer issues (2) b Key principles  Plough to plate approach  New approach to risk analysis  Greater openness  Stakeholder involvement  precautionary approach  Traceability  HACCP  Role of Official controls

18 Consumer issues (3) b The way forward  Anticipating future developments  Restore consumer confidence  Everyone has a role to play  All stages in food chain involved  Precautionary approach  Two way risk communication

19 Safety in particular sectors b Food service (retail & catering)  Increased eating outside home  Major source of food poisoning  unsafe sources  inadequate cooking  improper holding temperature  contaminated equipment  poor personal hygiene b Managing the cold chain  Flair technical manual b Retail sector  Impact of regulations (esp. due diligence)

20 Food Toxicology The major focus of this session was on risk analysis

21 Risk analysis & management b Traditional approach  Risk assessment  On a case by case basis  Only proven hazards considered  Risk management  Risk communication b Features  Separation of assessment & management  risks assessed but not potential benefits

22 Problems with traditional approach b Human fallibility (how things are really done) b Practical consequences of human activity (things that are not done) b Limits of scientific knowledge b Perceptions of risk not considered b Long term factors  extrapolation from short term data  uncertainties ignored

23 Possible changes b Early detection of unpredicted consequences b Evaluation of degree of plausibility b Improved monitoring procedures b Evaluation of benefits b Adoption of the precautionary principle.

24 Precautionary principle b Take anticipatory action  Don’t wait until all the data is in b Burden of proof of harmlessness lies with proponent b Evaluate alternatives b Open decision making  Involve all affected parties

25 Future developments b EU White paper on food safety b European food authority b EU legal framework covering the whole food chain b Growing stress on Nutrition - safe food is not enough

26 The End


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