Danish Agriculture and Food Council

Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish Agriculture and Food Council

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council
Microbiology Spectrum | Year: 2016

Free movement of safe and wholesome food is an essential aspect of any society. This article contains an updated description of the regulatory issues associated with preharvest food safety within the European Union. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Trichinella, antimicrobial resistance, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy are dealt with in detail. Moreover, Cysticercus bovis/Taenia saginata, Toxoplasma, Yersinia, verotoxigenic/shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli, Listeria, and foodborne viruses are briefly covered. The article describes how the focus in the European Union is changing to involve a supply chain view with a focus on cost-effectiveness. The precautionary principle-as well as the use of private standards as an instrument to ensure compliance-is dealt with. In addition, actions in the pipeline are presented and discussed. © 2016 American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.


Boklund A.,Technical University of Denmark | Dahl J.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

Confirming freedom from disease is important for export of animals and animal products. In Denmark, an intensive surveillance program is in place for Aujeszky's disease (AD) and classical swine fever (CSF), including 34,974 blood samples tested for AD and 37,414 samples tested for CSF (2008 figures). In the current system, 3.5% of sows and boars for export or slaughter are tested for both diseases, as well as all boars before entering boar stations. Furthermore, nucleus herds are tested every third month for classical swine fever.We investigated, whether the sample size could be reduced without compromising the posterior probability of freedom (PostPFree) from AD and CSF by use of a scenario tree model. Conventional herds and sows or boars were defined as risk factors (compared to SPF. 11SPF - specific pathogen free. A system in which the herds are regularly checked for freedom from a number of diseases according to the health declaration of the programme. A herd can be free from all or some of the diseases. The owner of the herd is obliged to inform the SPF company and the buyer about the health status before selling pigs and to follow a certain set of rules regarding biosecurity (Anon., 2008). herds and finisher pigs), with a relative risk of 2 and 5, respectively. The probability of introduction was modeled as a distribution (0.0042:0.0083; 0.05), and the within-herd and between-herd design prevalence were set to 0.05 and 0.01, respectively.If 50 and 75% of the test results from exported or slaughtered sows and boars were simulated to be removed at random, while the blood samples from boar stations were kept constant (reflecting a total reduction of 28 or 43%) the PostPFree from AD was reduced from 0.989 after 1 year testing to 0.980 or 0.971, respectively. Similarly, the confidence of freedom from CSF was reduced from 0.989 to 0.982 or 0.969, when the number of serological samples from abattoirs and export sows and boars is reduced by 50 or 75%, respectively (reflecting a total reduction of 34 or 51%), and further to 0.978 or 0.963 if sampling in nucleus herds was stopped (reflecting a total reduction of 41 or 59%).The results show that a reduction in the sampling size of Danish sows will have limited effect on the PostPFree from AD and CSF, and that sampling in nucleus herds for CSF adds little to the PostPFree from CSF. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Baptista F.M.,Copenhagen University | Mogelmose V.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Sorensen L.L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | And 3 more authors.
Food Research International | Year: 2012

Salmonella can either be controlled pre-harvest, post-harvest or by a combination of both approaches. This paper describes the lessons learned in Danish Salmonella surveillance and control programme for finisher pigs and pork. Initially, main focus was on pre-harvest initiatives and correct identification of herds with respect to the risk for Salmonella that they represented. However, an analysis of risk-mitigating actions applied along the chain from stable to table showed that it would be more cost-effective to deal with Salmonella on the abattoirs than in the herds. This knowledge moved focus from pre- to post-harvest without giving up on pre-harvest surveillance. First of all, this meant increased attention on slaughter hygiene and individual interventions in the abattoirs. In brief, we learned that for a programme to be successful it must be based on standardised methods for sampling and testing to be able to evaluate and compare performance of the programme. More specifically, meat-juice samples taken from finisher pigs at the time of slaughter are an effective way of identifying high-risk herds for Salmonella. In addition, a penalty system might act as an incentive for farmers to deal with Salmonella in their herd. Additionally, common targets for all abattoirs allowing for unique control solutions should be adapted. Finally, decontamination techniques like hot water decontamination are a feasible way of dealing with high-risk pigs (Level-3 pigs). The current prevalence in Danish pork is around 1.2%, and a target is set to < 1.0% to be reached by the end of 2013. The experience obtained by use of the Danish programme might be used to develop and implement appropriate types of surveillance programs as well as risk-mitigating measures in other countries. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Petersen J.V.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2016

Today, the majority of pigs are raised in industrialised pig production systems with a high level of biosecurity resulting in a negligible risk of . Trichinella. Carcass testing therefore seems less relevant if the aim of testing is to protect public health. However, traditional pig production (including backyard production) still occurs, and organic pig production is on the increase in some areas, suggesting a continued need for carcass testing from such compartments. These diverse developments within pig production have changed the epidemiologic situation of . Trichinella. This has necessitated an adaption of the legislation regarding . Trichinella surveillance and control, in order to ensure and document public health while also allowing trade of livestock and meat without unnecessary restrictions. This is reflected in the recent development of the international legislation regarding . Trichinella and associated control obligations for trade in pork as described in the EU legislation and by OIE/FAO/Codex.A common element in the adapted legislation, standards and guidelines is that if a high level of biosecurity can be demonstrated on a pig farm, then the farm belongs to the negligible-risk compartment and there is no need for carcass testing. Maintaining a negligible-risk compartment involves compliance checks for biosecurity requirements, for example through regular audit visits to the farms. Private standards can be used as means of third-party audit of the biosecurity status. Other (or additional) approaches to maintaining the negligible-risk compartment that do not involving a visit to the farm include slaughter surveillance.For farms that do not belong to a negligible-risk compartment an auditing of biosecurity does not make sense in the traditional way. For these farms, all pigs should be tested for . Trichinella in order to ensure food safety and to undertake early-warning surveillance of a potentially high-risk sub-population. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Dahl J.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Andreasen M.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Petersen J.V.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Sandberg M.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

In 2010, the " yellow card scheme" which was adopted by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration imposed restrictions on pig farmers who used more antimicrobials than twice the average.To study the potential impact on pig health, we looked into antimicrobial consumption and vaccine use data from the monitoring programme Vetstat, covering all treatments conducted on Danish pigs between January 2010 and July 2011. The decrease in antimicrobial consumption was pronounced for all age groups (sows/piglets, weaners and finishers) treated for either gastro-intestinal or respiratory disease. Evaluated over 12 months, use of vaccines increased in general: PCV2-related infections (+31%), gastro-intestinal disease (27%), respiratory infections (21%) whereas use of vaccines against other infections remained almost constant (-18%).Data from meat inspection of finisher pigs from before and after introduction of the scheme were compared. This included 1.7 million finisher pigs originating from 2765 pig farms, slaughtered on one large Danish abattoir and covered the first 9 weeks in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Nine lesions of chronic nature and infectious origin and the code " condemned" were selected. The prevalence of these lesions was calculated. Logistic regression models with year and week as explanatory variables were used to identify whether the prevalence of a lesion changed from 2010 to 2011. Possible clustering due to correlation within herds and between weekly shipments of animals originating from the same herd was taken into account in the models.The most common lesion seen was chronic pleuritis (~23%) while the other lesions occurred less-commonly (<1%). For osteomyelitis, pleuritis, chronic arthritis and condemnation, no differences were observed between the 2 years. The prevalence of chronic peritonitis (OR=1.5), umbilical hernia (OR=1.2) and chronic enteritis (OR=1.2) were statistically higher in 2011 compared to 2010, whereas it was lower for tail bite infection (OR=0.6), chronic pericarditis (OR=0.6), and chronic pneumonia (OR=0.7) (P<. 0.001). Moreover, in the condemned carcasses, chronic pneumonia plummeted as a lesion found in 2011 compared to 2010 (OR=0.07, P<. 0.0001). Our results indicate that marked reduction in use of antimicrobials is associated with a short-term increase in the prevalence of specific lesions found during meat inspection and higher coverage of vaccines against respiratory diseases might impact the prevalence of chronic pneumonia positively. Other factors that impact on pig health were not included in the study. Moreover, effect of productivity was not evaluated. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Baptista F.M.,Copenhagen University | Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Olsen A.M.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Petersen J.V.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Toft N.,Copenhagen University
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2012

Residues of pharmacological active substances or their metabolites might be found in food products from food-producing animals. Maximum Residue Limits for pharmacological active substances in foodstuffs of animal origin are established to assure high food safety standards.Each year, more than 20,000 samples are analysed for the presence of antibacterial residues in Danish pigs. This corresponds to 0.1% of the size of the slaughter pig population and more than 1% of the sows slaughtered. In this study, a Bayesian model was used to evaluate the Danish surveillance system accuracy and to investigate the impact of a potential risk-based sampling approach to the residue surveillance programme in Danish slaughter pigs. Danish surveillance data from 2005 to 2009 and limited knowledge about true prevalence and test sensitivity and specificity were included in the model.According to the model, the true antibacterial residue prevalence in Danish pigs is very low in both sows (∼0.20%) and slaughter pigs (∼0.01%). Despite data constraints, the results suggest that the current screening test used in Denmark presents high sensitivity (85-99%) and very high specificity (>99%) for the most relevant antibacterial classes used in Danish pigs.If high-risk slaughter pigs could be identified by taking into account antibacterial use or meat inspection risk factors, a potential risk-based sampling approach to antibacterial residue surveillance in slaughter pigs would allow reducing the sample size substantially, while increasing or maintaining the probability of detection. Hence, the antibacterial residue surveillance programme in Danish pigs would be more cost-effective than today. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Jensen V.F.,Technological University of Denmark | Enoe C.,Technological University of Denmark | Wachmann H.,Larix Inc. | Nielsen E.O.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2010

A retrospective cohort study was performed on 130 pig herds in Denmark, to assess the effect of PMWS on the use of antimicrobial drug. The study comprised 65 herds diagnosed with PMWS during 2003-2004, and matched by the veterinary practitioner with 65 herds free from PMWS. Information on antimicrobial use 1 year before and 1 year after the diagnosis was achieved from the National Prescription Medicine Monitoring Database, VetStat, and summarized on quarter within age group and herd. The multiple linear regression analysis comprised antimicrobial use as the outcome variable with (1) quarter relative to diagnosis of PMWS in the positive herd (same date for the negative match), (2) diagnosis of PMWS (same date used for matched PMWS(-) herd), (3) season and (4) temporal trend as fixed effects. Relative to the unaffected herds, the antimicrobial use in the sow units in the PMWS(+) herds was elevated significantly by 35% in the last quarter and 43% in the fourth quarter before positive diagnosis in the herds (p<0.05). In weaner pigs, the antimicrobial use increased significantly two quarters before, and one quarter after the positive diagnosis, by 68%, 91% and 124% respectively. In weaner pigs, effects were seen of herd size and season. The study support that increased morbidity occur for an extended period prior to the diagnosis of PMWS, both in the sow units and the weaner pig units and further indicate that the syndrome cease after the diagnosis, with a decrease in need for antimicrobial treatment. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Ciccolini M.,University of Edinburgh | Dahl J.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Chase-Topping M.E.,University of Edinburgh | Woolhouse M.E.J.,University of Edinburgh
Epidemics | Year: 2012

Animal trade in industrialised livestock-production systems creates a complex, heterogeneous, contact network that shapes between-herd transmission of infectious diseases. We report the results of a simple mathematical model that explores patterns of spread and persistence of livestock-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in the Danish pig-industry associated with this trade network. Simulations show that LA-MRSA can become endemic sustained by animal movements alone. Despite the extremely low predicted endemic prevalence, eradication may be difficult, and decreasing within-farm prevalence, or the time it takes a LA-MRSA positive farm to recover a negative status, fails to break long-term persistence. Our results suggest that a low level of non-movement induced transmission strongly affects MRSA dynamics, increasing endemic prevalence and probability of persistence. We also compare the model-predicted risk of 291 individual farms becoming MRSA positive, with results from a recent Europe-wide survey of LA-MRSA in holdings with breeding pigs, and find a significant correlation between contact-network connectivity properties and the model-estimated risk measure. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Chowdhury S.,University of Southern Denmark | Chowdhury S.,Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University | Themudo G.E.,University of Southern Denmark | Sandberg M.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Ersboll A.K.,University of Southern Denmark
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2013

Despite a number of risk-factor studies in different countries, the epidemiology of Campylobacter colonization in broilers, particularly spatial dependencies, is still not well understood. A series of analyses (visualization and exploratory) were therefore conducted in order to obtain a better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of Campylobacter in the Danish broiler population. In this study, we observed a non-random temporal occurrence of Campylobacter, with high prevalence during summer and low during winter. Significant spatio-temporal clusters were identified in the same areas in the summer months from 2007 to 2009. Range of influence between broiler farms were estimated at distances of 9·6 km and 13·5 km in different years. Identification of areas and time with greater risk indicates variable presence of risk factors with space and time. Implementation of safety measures on farms within high-risk clusters during summer could have an impact in reducing prevalence. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


Hoinville L.J.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Alban L.,Danish Agriculture and Food Council | Drewe J.A.,Lane College | Gibbens J.C.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | And 5 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

The information provided by animal-health surveillance helps to reduce the impact of animal diseases. The widespread movement of animals and their products around the world results in an increasing risk that disease will spread. There is, therefore, a need for exchange between countries of comparable information about disease incidence; the exchange must be based on a common understanding of surveillance approaches and how surveillance systems are designed and implemented. Establishing agreed-upon definitions of surveillance terms would be a first step in achieving this standardisation, and will enhance transparency and confidence. To this end, a workshop was held with the aim of agreeing upon key terms and concepts for animal-health surveillance. In this paper, we describe the methods used at the workshop and summarise the discussions. A complete list of all the proposed definitions including lists of characteristics that can be used to describe surveillance activities and attributes for evaluation of surveillance is available in the workshop report (available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/disease-control/surveillance/icahs-workshop/). Some important issues were highlighted during these discussions; of particular note was the importance of economic efficiency as an evaluation attribute. Some remaining inconsistencies in the proposed use of terms are highlighted (including the definition of 'risk-based surveillance' and the use of the term 'event-based surveillance'). © 2013.

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