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MoniQA project develops new database of food quality and safety issues

The EU funded MoniQA project has developed a database of food quality and safety issues and corresponding analytical tools for food production and the supply chain. Via commodity and contaminant searches, database users gain access to legislative limits, and related analytical and sampling methods as well as original legislation. The project offers stakeholders free access to the MoniQA methods database for a trial period of 60 days. To sign up send an email to moniqa@moniqa.org

Funded by the European Union, MoniQA (Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the total food supply chain) involves experts from around the globe collaborating to harmonise worldwide food quality and safety monitoring and control strategies. The project has developed a database of food quality and safety issues and corresponding analytical tools for food production and the supply chain. Via commodity and contaminant searches, the database users gain access to legislative limits and corresponding analytical and sampling methods as well as original legislation. A key component of this fully searchable database is the EU Rapid Alert System (RASFF). Also included are EU provenance issues, a thesaurus of terms and links to sources of reliable information. The MoniQA database is structured around two key elements: a comprehensive list of contaminants and a comprehensive list of commodities (or matrices) in which these contaminants may pose a food-chain threat. All data sources are linked to these two elements. The basic structure of the database was initially populated by data from the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and augmented with results from ongoing work within MoniQA. Within MoniQA, RASFF data has been converted into a fully searchable and relational database. The search functionality allows users to search RASFF notifications by commodity, contaminant, country of origin and/or reporting countries. The output can be restricted to cover all information entered over the previous 52 weeks (a rolling year) or back to the first issued notifications in May 2003. A wild card search has also been added. Contaminant categories were selected from the broad groupings of contaminants covered by the RASFF, together with all those where current EU legislation governing maximum permissible levels in food or feed exists. The initial list of commodities was based on existing legislation governing pesticide maximum residue levels. The list was extended to cover specific fruits or vegetables where contaminant legislation specifically exists or which occur frequently in the RASFF. In a third step, animal products were included. Relevant corresponding legislation has also been added to the database. Since the initial launch of the database, results from MoniQA have been added. This includes detection methods for contaminants, methods currently used by MoniQA partners to identify and quantify hazards and/or contaminants, information from a report about reliable sources on food quality and safety challenges, information on national food regimes and a report archive. How to sign up? Simply send us an email at moniqa@moniqa.org with your contact details and we will email you your username and password. You can also visit http://www.moniqa.org/methodsdb for more information. What is MoniQA? MoniQA (Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the total food supply chain) is an EU-funded project which involves experts from around the globe collaborating to harmonise worldwide food quality and safety monitoring and control strategies. MoniQA focuses on validation of and performance criteria/requirements for methods used to test staple foods and food products for safety and quality with the main focus being on rapid methods and their applicability and reliability in screening and routine testing. The initial network of over 155 scientists from 20 countries has grown to over 400 experts from over 35 countries from 5 continents in the first 24 months and has expanded further in year three to nearly 500 registered experts and 140 registered institutions. For more information go and visit MoniQA at www.moniqa.org or send an email to moniqa@moniqa.org.

Countries

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom