Food Safety and Quality Unit

Rome, Italy

Food Safety and Quality Unit

Rome, Italy

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Young I.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Young I.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | Waddell L.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Cahill S.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2015

Low-moisture foods (LMF) are increasingly implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness, resulting in a significant public health burden. To inform the development of a new Codex Alimentarius code of hygienic practice for LMF, we applied a rapid knowledge synthesis and transfer approach to review global research on the burden of illness, prevalence, and interventions to control nine selected microbial hazards in eight categories of LMF. Knowledge synthesis methods included an integrated scoping review (search strategy, relevance screening and confirmation, and evidence mapping), systematic review (detailed data extraction), and meta-analysis of prevalence data. Knowledge transfer of the results was achieved through multiple reporting formats, including evidence summary cards. We identified 214 unique outbreaks and 204 prevalence and 126 intervention studies. Cereals and grains (n=142) and Salmonella (n=278) were the most commonly investigated LMF and microbial hazard categories, respectively. Salmonella was implicated in the most outbreaks (n = 96, 45%), several of which were large and widespread, resulting in the most hospitalizations (n = 895, 89%) and deaths (n = 14, 74%). Salmonella had a consistently low prevalence across all LMF categories (0 to 3%), but the prevalence of other hazards (e.g., Bacillus cereus) was highly variable. A variety of interventions were investigated in small challenge trials. Key knowledge gaps included underreporting of LMF outbreaks, limited reporting of microbial levels in prevalence studies, and a lack of intervention efficacy research under commercial conditions. Summary cards were a useful knowledge transfer format to inform complementary risk ranking activities. This review builds upon previous work in this area by synthesizing a broad range of evidence using a structured, transparent, and integrated approach to provide timely evidence informed inputs into international guidelines. Copyright © International Association for Food Protection.


Fournier A.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Fournier A.,University of Guelph | Young I.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Rajic A.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | And 2 more authors.
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2015

Wildlife is a known reservoir of pathogenic bacteria, including Mycobacterium bovis and Brucella spp. Transmission of these pathogens between wildlife and food animals can lead to damaging impacts on the agri-food industry and public health. Several international case studies have highlighted the complex and cross-sectoral challenges involved in preventing and managing these potential transmission risks. The objective of our study was to develop a better understanding of the socio-economic aspects of the transmission of pathogenic bacteria between wildlife and food animals to support more effective and sustainable risk mitigation strategies. We conducted qualitative thematic analysis on a purposive sample of 30/141 articles identified in a complementary scoping review of the literature in this area and identified two key themes. The first related to the framing of this issue as a 'wicked problem' that depends on a complex interaction of social factors and risk perceptions, governance and public policy, and economic implications. The second theme consisted of promising approaches and strategies to prevent and mitigate the potential risks from transmission of pathogenic bacteria between wildlife and food animals. These included participatory, collaborative and multidisciplinary decision-making approaches and the proactive incorporation of credible scientific evidence and local contextual factors into solutions. The integration of these approaches to address 'wicked problems' in this field may assist stakeholders and decision-makers in improving the acceptability and sustainability of future strategies to reduce the transmission of pathogenic bacteria between wildlife and food animals. © 2015 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.


Annette M.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | Poirson J.-M.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | Zingeser J.,Veterinary Public Health | Otto P.,Veterinary Public Health | And 2 more authors.
Unasylva | Year: 2015

In several countries in West Africa, the initial public health emergency triggered by Ebola virus disease (EVD) has developed into a complex crisis, affecting food security, livelihoods and national economies, and even threatening geopolitical stability. © 2015, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Food Safety and Quality Unit, World Health Organization, Sky Analytics, Ryerson University and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Preventive veterinary medicine | Year: 2016

Non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. (hereafter referred to as Salmonella) on beef and pork is an important cause of foodborne illness and death globally. A systematic review of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce Salmonella prevalence or concentration in beef and pork was undertaken. A broad search was conducted in Scopus and CAB abstracts. Each citation was appraised using screening tools tested a priori. Level 1 relevance screening excluded irrelevant citations; level 2 confirmed relevance and categorized studies. Data were then extracted, and intervention categories were descriptively summarized. Meta-analysis was performed to provide a summary estimate of treatment effect where two or more studies investigated the same intervention in comparable populations. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to assess the confidence in the estimated measures of intervention effect for data subgroups.


PubMed | Ryerson University, Food Safety and Quality Unit, University of Guelph, World Health Organization and Food Safety Principles
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of food protection | Year: 2017

Pork is one of the major food sources of human salmonellosis worldwide, while beef products have been implicated in numerous foodborne outbreaks. As a result, effective interventions to reduce


PubMed | Food Safety and Quality Unit, World Health Organization and Public Health Agency of Canada
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of food protection | Year: 2015

Low-moisture foods (LMF) are increasingly implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness, resulting in a significant public health burden. To inform the development of a new Codex Alimentarius code of hygienic practice for LMF, we applied a rapid knowledge synthesis and transfer approach to review global research on the burden of illness, prevalence, and interventions to control nine selected microbial hazards in eight categories of LMF. Knowledge synthesis methods included an integrated scoping review (search strategy, relevance screening and confirmation, and evidence mapping), systematic review (detailed data extraction), and meta-analysis of prevalence data. Knowledge transfer of the results was achieved through multiple reporting formats, including evidence summary cards. We identified 214 unique outbreaks and 204 prevalence and 126 intervention studies. Cereals and grains (n = 142) and Salmonella (n = 278) were the most commonly investigated LMF and microbial hazard categories, respectively. Salmonella was implicated in the most outbreaks (n = 96, 45%), several of which were large and widespread, resulting in the most hospitalizations (n = 895, 89%) and deaths (n = 14, 74%). Salmonella had a consistently low prevalence across all LMF categories (0 to 3%), but the prevalence of other hazards (e.g., Bacillus cereus) was highly variable. A variety of interventions were investigated in small challenge trials. Key knowledge gaps included underreporting of LMF outbreaks, limited reporting of microbial levels in prevalence studies, and a lack of intervention efficacy research under commercial conditions. Summary cards were a useful knowledge transfer format to inform complementary risk ranking activities. This review builds upon previous work in this area by synthesizing a broad range of evidence using a structured, transparent, and integrated approach to provide timely evidence informed inputs into international guidelines.

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