Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary - SAFOODNET (Food safety and hygiene networking within new Member States and Associated Candidate Countries)

The ultimate aim of the SAFOODNET was to build up a sustainable network in food safety. For this purpose it sought to disseminate knowledge to prevent risks related to microbial hazards, to find future Research and technological development (RTD) needs and to apply for RTD funding in food processing and packaging safety.

The objectives of SAFOODNET were to:
1. disseminate knowledge from national and international food safety projects in open seminars, workshops, practical exercises, RTD activities and pilot actions resulting in new research projects for food industry;
2. establish an Expert group (EG) in which authorities, scientists, industrial representatives would build up or strengthen existing networks and identify specific needs for future RTD activities in food safety;
3. bridge networks within the European Union (EU) and foster scientific cooperation and knowledge transfer in food safety.

The main achievements of the project are the following:

1. Three open seminars in microbial contamination routes and on risk assessment and management were held, namely 'Microbial contaminants and contamination routes in food industry', 'Risk assessment of microbiological problems and preventive actions in food industry' and 'Risk management by hygienic designs and efficient cleaning and disinfection programmes', correspondingly, to disseminate safety issues to a targeted audience of industrial, research and authority people.

2. Two workshops including practical exercises in microbial risk assessment and management to disseminate methodologies and methods were held.

3. Nine pilot actions on practical food safety issues together with industries were performed. Common conclusions based on the outcomes of finalised pilot cases were published in the final seminar proceedings 'Risk management by hygienic design and efficient sanitation programmes'. The following pilot cases were performed:
(a) risk assessment in Cypriot food factors;
(b) microbial process hygiene surveys in Estonian dairies;
(c) modelling of food safety of ready-to-eat meals;
(d) training and education needs in food hygiene;
(e) hygiene survey in Romanian bakeries;
(f) hygiene survey in Slovene poultry production;
(g) hygiene survey in Turkish food companies;
(h) hygiene survey in Finnish gulf surroundings; and
(i) detection of certain food pathogens using the Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry.

4. An EG was established. These members suggested and evaluated the pilot actions for the needs in RTD activities concerning the food processing and packaging hygiene and end-product safety at the final EG meeting.

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