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Advancing Beef Safety and Quality through Research and Innovation

A major international conference on beef “Advancing Beef Safety and Quality through Research and Innovation” will take place at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin this week. The two day “Prosafebeef” conference will be officially opened tomorrow, Wednesday, 8 February, by Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“Prosafebeef” is a large European Commission research project co-ordinated by Dr Geraldine Duffy and Mr Declan Troy at Teagasc Food Research Centre. The project involves 41 leading international beef research and industrial companies from 15 countries across Europe, North and South America and Australia, many of whom will present their research at the conference.

The conference and industry demonstration event will present a range of new research findings and technologies, developed by Teagasc and its international research collaborators in the Prosafebeef project to the beef industry. Dr Geraldine Duffy, Head of Food Safety at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, said that topics to be presented at the conference will include new technologies to monitor and assure beef safety, new beef product and process technologies to improve beef quality and consumer attitudes to beef. A number of these technologies have already been successfully adopted by the beef industry across Europe and more have been brought to prototype and are ready to progress towards a commercialisation phase.

Teagasc researchers will present some of their recent work on new approaches to monitor and assure beef safety. This will include a novel method developed for the detection of anti-parasitic drug residues in meat. These drugs can be administered to animals during production and it would be a concern if residues of the drugs were still present in the meat tissue when consumed. A new technology which can simultaneously detect 38 different drug residues was developed by Dr Martin Danaher and colleagues in the Food Safety group at the Teagasc Food Research Centre. This method is now used in Ireland and across many European countries allowing meat samples to be monitored for a wider range of anti-parasitic drug residues and providing assurance of beef safety. Research will also be presented on tools to monitor and assure beef microbial safety and on novel biological agents which can be used to control E. coli O157:H7.

Further information on the conference can be downloaded from www.prosafebeef.eu