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Food Safety

The safety and the integrity of food are fundamental to the sustainability and continued development of the Irish agri-food sector. The Food Safety Department at Teagasc aims to conduct a research programme which delivers focused and innovative research outputs relevant to the needs of stakeholders in the Food Industry (Meat, Dairy and Prepared Consumer Foods), as well as national and international food safety regulators and policy makers.

Programme Aim:

The aim of the Food Safety programme is to provide the science to underpin a total chain risk-based approach to food safety focusing on microbial and chemical contaminants and encompassing a on-health approach. The Food Safety Department is co-located at Ashtown and Moorepark. State of the art laboratories and equipment are supported by a pilot scale food processing, microbial shelf life and safety biocontainment suite.

Programme Objectives  

  • To understand the transmission, behaviour, virulence potential of key and emergent microbial pathogens and to a lesser extent, spoilage organisms in Irish food.
  • To develop predictive microbial models and quantitative risk models which can be used to assess and manage microbial risk.
  • To develop novel controls for microbial pathogens and spoilage organisms.
  • To develop state of the art methods to detect and monitor for chemical contaminants including residues from veterinary drugs, environmental contaminants and natural toxins in the food supply.
  • To develop quantitative risk models and exposure models for key chemical contaminants in the Irish food supply.