Public consultation on the draft Opinion on the use and mode of action of bacteriophages in food production

6 March 2009

The remit of EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) is to provide scientific advice on questions on biological hazards relating to food safety and food-borne disease, including food-borne zoonoses and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, microbiology, food hygiene and associated waste management. In 2008, the BIOHAZ Panel received a mandate from the European Commission (EC) (Question No EFSA-Q-2008-400), and appointed an expert group with the task to draft a Scientific Opinion on: “The use and mode of action of bacteriophages in food production”.

In this mandate, the EC is seeking technical assistance from EFSA on the way in which bacteriophages work. Specifically, they asked EFSA to describe the mode of action expected from the use of bacteriophage solutions on food of animal origin; and to advise whether the use of bacteriophages may lead to a continual functioning in the food (thereby protecting against recontamination), or whether the effect can be expected to be short lived (no continuing action in the final food). The EC at this stage is not seeking advice with regard to the safety in use of such bacteriophage solutions.

The draft opinion developed by the working group, and endorsed by the BIOHAZ Panel presents information on the state of the art on the areas mentioned in the terms of reference. In line with EFSA’s policy on openness and transparency, and in order to receive comments from the scientific community and stakeholders, EFSA has launched a public consultation on the draft opinion.

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments using the online form by 6 March 2009, 17:00 CET. Please exclusively use the electronic template provided with the documents to submit comments and refer to the line numbering.
Please note that comments submitted by e-mail or by post cannot be taken into account. It should be noted that a submission will not be considered if it:

  • Is submitted after the deadline set out in the call
  • Is presented in any form other than what is provided for in the instructions and template
  • Is not related to the contents of the document
  • Contains complaints against institutions, personal accusations, irrelevant or offensive statements or material
    Comments complying with the criteria will be evaluated by EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards and taken into consideration where these will enhance the scientific quality or understanding of the document. 

29 January 2009