Despite many efforts to ensure that only high-quality and safe products are put on the market, fish-borne parasites continue to pose risks to human health, with zoonotic infections and allergic reactions mainly following consumption of raw, lightly cooked, or marinated seafood.
The PARASITE proposal is presented by a multidisciplinary consortium of 12 European and 3 Asian research institutions and 6 European SMEs. It aims to provide new scientific evidence and technological developments to detect, monitor, and mitigate impacts of zoonotic parasites, mainly anisakid nematodes but also trematode metacercariae, occurring in European and imported fishery products. The Project will address the research needs identified by EFSA regarding the risk of seafood-borne parasites. It also will facilitate close cooperation between scientists and end-users to produce new technological solutions and management tools for both European and imported fishery products.
The Work Plan has been organized in 9 work packages, each covering different stages of a risk assessment framework, providing new epidemiological data, monitoring tools, development and implementation of parasite detection devices, technological tools for their mitigation, and dissemination of key results to all the stakeholders and the general public.
Risk assessment of zoonotic parasites will ensure significant progress beyond the state of the art. This will be achieved by improving molecular hazard identification, antigen/allergen characterization, parasite exposure assessment, detection methods and treatments for industrial and other end-users, and an integrated quantitative risk analysis based on powerful statistics and modelling,
The main results will impact by (1) contributing to enhanced seafood safety, with consequent benefits for public health and consumer confidence, (2) strengthening the competitiveness of European seafood, from the net to the plate and (3) improving EU food safety policies.
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