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Global Food Safety: Solutions for today and tomorrow

A major international conference on food safety “Global Food Safety: Solutions for today and tomorrow” opened in Dublin today Tuesday 23 October. The two day conference was officially opened by Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety. He said: “It is appropriate that we are hosting this conference in Ireland as we have an excellent reputation for food safety. We are proud of that reputation but we are equally conscious that we can never be complacent when it comes to maintaining such a reputation.”

This conference was jointly organised by Teagasc in collaboration with the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland (IFSTI) and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). The conference and associated workshops will bring together global experts from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to discuss current and emerging risks to food safety. The overall objective of this conference is to address food safety concerns along the farm to fork chain, including chemical and microbial contaminants, and the challenges faced in managing food borne disease internationally.

Dr Geraldine Duffy, Head of Food Safety at the Teagasc Food Research Centre said: “The safety of food is fundamental to consumer health and to the sustainability and continued development of the agri-food sector. The consumer wants assurance that food is safe and for the food industry the economic implications and loss of goodwill associated with a food poisoning incident, or scare, has increased the necessity to provide assurance on food safety. A risk based total chain approach to food safety management is essential to reduce the level of food borne illness and to sustain and expand both domestic and export markets”.

Teagasc researchers will present some of their recent work on new approaches to monitor and assure food safety. This will include new biological agents which can used to control E. coli O157:H7 in the beef chain and emerging approaches to the detection and control of veterinary drug residues in food.

Further information on the conference can be downloaded from http://www.globalfoodsafetyconference.com

Rory Ryan, IFSTI Ireland; Lisa O’Connor, Food Safety Authority of Ireland; Professor Gerry Boyle, Director Teagasc; Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Food Safety, Shane McEntee T.D., Geraldine Duffy, Teagasc, and Geoffery Campbell-Platt, IUFOST at the Teagasc hosted International Global Food Safety Conference and Workshop which took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin on 22-23 October, 2012