EFSA Workshops on Salmonella in Pigs: call for contributions

16 March 2008

After a request from the European Commission for a scientific opinion on “Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment on Salmonella in slaughter and breeder pigs” (EFSA-Q-2006-176) the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked its Panel on Biological Hazards to address this request. EFSA launched a Call for proposals in the framework of the Article 36 of its founding regulation. The awarded consortium of EU institutions is carrying out a quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA) for Salmonella in pigs with the objective to estimate the contribution of EU pig meat production to the burden of Salmonellosis in the EU and to consider the effectiveness of a range of intervention measures across the food chain (from farm to consumption). The Biological Hazards Panel will adopt an opinion based on the report developed by the consortium.

A key part of this risk assessment process is to ensure that the most relevant and up-to-date methods of carrying out a risk assessment in general, and for Salmonella in pigs in the EU in particular, are used. Of primary concern is how to develop a fit-for-purpose risk assessment based on EFSA’s terms of reference, in particular ensuring the EU as a whole is represented (allowing for differences between countries) and that those interventions required by EFSA are able to be modelled.

Therefore, the awarded consortium (VLA, RIVM, FOOD-DTU) is arranging two consecutive workshops in Copenhagen to gather scientific input from parties with an interest in contributing to this exercise. The first workshop from 21st-22nd April 2008 will focus on the quality and relevance of methods in terms of applicability to the EFSA risk assessment objectives. The second workshop from the 23rd-24th April 2008 will discuss the quality and relevance of data in terms of its applicability to the EFSA risk assessment.

EFSA therefore invites parties interested in participating in this initiative and making a scientific contribution to the exercise to submit the short application form together with their CV to salmonellainpigs[a]efsa.europa.eu by 3rd March. Space at the workshop is extremely limited and we need to ensure fair representation across the EU: therefore interested parties will be invited to attend according to their area of expertise and member state represented.

We hope you are interested in this workshop and would be willing to attend. This, or any, risk assessment must be fit-for-purpose and a crucial process in ensuring this is making sure we incorporate the most relevant and up-to-date modelling methods. We look forward to hearing from you.

14 February 2008