Denmark, UK take steps to fight foodborne bugs

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Microbiology, Foodborne illness, Campylobacter

Denmark and the UK have both unveiled programmes to tackle foodborne pathogens such as campylobacter and salmonella in a bid to boost food safety.

Danish authorities have signed a new four-year agreement as part of an on-going programme to combat salmonella and campylobacter. The government has pledged to spend DKK 25m (€3.3m) annually until 2014 to strengthen its fight against the bacteria. The cash would also be used to investigate Listeria and study E.coli resistance seen in imported poultry meat.

Officials said effort would be intensified on reducing incidents of the pathogens in the processing and retail parts of the food supply chain.

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries announced the initiative even though numbers sickened by campylobacter and salmonella had fallen between 2007 and 2010 and there was currently no salmonella in its domestic fresh chicken meat.

UK Campylobacter

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is commissioning a range of research to combat campylobacter. The body recently highlighted the bacteria as the number one cause of food poisoning in the UK – causing over 300,000 food poisoning cases annually that costs the economy almost ₤600m.

Campylobacter is most commonly found in poultry although it can also occur in red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water. The research will be used as part of a five-year action plan to improve risk management processes throughout the supply chain.

The FSA is looking to commission studies on controlling and monitoring of campylobacter in slaughterhouses, predictive models and a project to measure the effectiveness of biosecurity training. The feasibility of developing a rapid on-farm testing procedure and measuring the impact of interventions will also be evaluated.

Details on the research requirements, including deadlines can be found by clicking HERE

http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2010/jul/campylobacterresearch

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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