The conference was hosted in University College Dublin by Professor Francis Butler who is head of the network. This was the second annual conference of the Network which is now in the second year of operation and currently has over 240 members.
The Salmonella Network is part of 6 pathogen Safefood Knowledge Networks (Listeria, Chemical Residues, Campylobacter, Biotoxins, VTEC and Salmonella) which aim to identify new risks, emerging challenges, and facilitate more rapid dissemination of information and ideas across the food chain. The Network acts as a forum to share information and to create awareness of issues surrounding Salmonella and facilitates the creation and application of knowledge to support and enhance food safety and contribute to policy development.
Following an opening welcome speech by Professor Francis Butler, a diverse set of presentations were delivered on salmonella from researchers working internationally in this area. The first keynote presentation was delivered by Dr. Larry R. Beuchat, a distinguished research Professor at the Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, who discussed ‘Salmonella Issues Associated with Low-water Activity (aw) Foods’. During his presentation he defined low-aw foods and discussed routes of contamination of low-aw foods. He then gave examples of outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with low-aw foods and food ingredients which highlighted survival mechanisms of salmonella in dry food processing. He concluded his presentation by discussing some next steps to develop strategies and interventions to manage safety risks associated with salmonella. Jay Hinton, a Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis at the University of Liverpool, discussed transcriptomic analysis of salmonella during infection of human cells.
Cian O’Mahony discussed how to carry out a risk assessment of salmonella in chocolate using the Creme Microbial® model in his presentation ‘Models and Software for Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment’. Cian’s presentation demonstrated how the Creme Microbial® model can be used to model dietary exposure to pathogens. Implementing microbial models stochastically enables one to assess the impact of variability and uncertainty on the final concentration of the pathogen in the food. The model allows the input of variables including pH, water activity (aw), time/temperature, cooking regimes and storage conditions. Creme Microbial®model allows for exposure to be combined with pathogen dose-response models to estimate likelihood of illness in populations. The ability to model microbial growth from factory to fork is very useful for supply chain decision making and in the case of contamination outbreaks.
Creme Microbial® model allows for multiple scenario analyses including:
The presentation from Creme Global was received with great interest and was followed with numerous interesting questions from the audience. For more information on Creme Microbial® and how it can be of value in risk, exposure and dose-response models for pathogens, please feel free to contact us.
The conference concluded with a interactive discussion on how the Knowledge Network could improve services for its members. Currently the Network provides an active online portal which gets updated with news, resources and discussions. Members are also sent an annual electronic newsletter. Going forward, the Network hopes to provide interactive webinars and additional teaching tools such as videos on selective topics. The Network also aims to build on the online professional networking platform (www.safefood.ning.com) and exchange more food safety information among its members and make a positive contribution to public health.
This highlighted the intrinsic relationship between Science and Food Safety and emphasised the importance of collaboration among its members.
Please contact us for more information on the conference or on Creme Microbial®.
Salmonella Network http://safefood.ning.com/group/salmonellanetwork.