Having Qualified with an MSc in Nutritional Science from University College Cork and a Higher Diploma in Food Science & Technology, Cornelia O'Connell worked in a Quality/Regulatory function in manufacturing from 1992-2015. She then moved into a training information dissemination role in August 2016 with IGFA- Irish Grain and Feed Association who are the representative body of the grain and feed industry and are recognised by Government (DAFM) as the official voice of the industry. She recently took part in the safefood Training & Mobility Funding Programme. In the report below, she tells us about her experience.
I recently took part in the safefood Training and Mobility Funding Programme. This Programme afforded me the opportunity to participate in a conference / work shop on “Salmonella Risk Management in Feed” along with 70 experts from 10 different EU Member States in Paris on 13th December 2016. The conference was run by EUROFAC who are the single representation of French feed industry at European level and FEFAC who represent European feed manufacturers from 23 member states and other countries.
The aims and objective of my attendance at the workshop-conference was to gain further in-sight into salmonella risks / controls in feed and impact on salmonella risk for humans, gain knowledge on the efficiency of heat treatment and acid application for the control of salmonella in feed, and learn about the Commission proposal to create a new functional group of feed additives. I was also able to hear directly from competent authorities of other EU member states about their national risk management strategies and participation in an open discussion with the aim to compare strategies.
The main benefit of this particular conference-workshop was the collaboration of speakers from industry, academia and competent authorities from different EU member states providing an excellent knowledge source and networking opportunities. Activities that took place at the conference were meet and greet sessions, presentations and open forum discussions which participants all took part in. It took place at Espace Vinci, Paris, France. It was split into three presentation sessions with networking opportunities in between.
Session one was dedicated to an update on scientific knowledge on Salmonella risk in feed and its impact on Salmonella risk for humans presented by Dr Robert Pieper from the University of Berlin, the state of play of heat treatment for control of Salmonella presented by Fabrice Putier from Tecaliman and Charlotte Dunoyer from ANSES- French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety presented work to date on the new additive group to improve the quality of feed for animal nutrition providing additional guarantees for the protection of animal and public health.
In the second session, Mie Nielsen Blom from the Danish Poultry Council, Jose Costa from the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture and Steve Wyllie from the UK Ministry of Agriculture presented three different approaches of risk management policy for Salmonella in feed. This was followed by a very interesting and engaging open Q&A session. During this session, exchanges of knowledge and experience among speakers from the academic, industrial and administrative sectors showed that different policies implemented across the EU have all their advantages and drawbacks and also their cultural and historic justification. It proved that the road towards harmonization will be challenging, but it gave hope that harmonized rules in certain areas such as the validation of decontamination processes could be considered in the middle term.
During the last session, Yvon Pennors from the French importers association Synacomex, Vincent Le Moine from EuroFac, Henry van Saddlehof from FEDIOL and Jean Michel Aspar from COCERAL, presented their approach for the control of Salmonella along the feed chain. All speakers gave excellent insights based on actual examples and graphical demonstrations.
Transfer of Knowledge to IGFA members will be in the form of circulation of the presentations from the conference and a Technical briefing note for inclusion in our monthly Feed Issues which is circulated to all members
My attendance at this conference will benefit my organisation in the future, as contact has been made with several other agencies involved in food safety. This will provide more opportunities for discussion and sharing of current and emerging food safety issues. The information gained will facilitate us at IGFA in bringing our members up to date with the latest European developments and competent authorities strategies and will initiate a review of our own salmonella controls systems.
In conclusion without the support of the safefood Training and Mobility Funding Programme I would not have been able to attend such a professional and well-structured conference-workshop. Attendance afforded me networking opportunity, opportunity to hear the latest information on Salmonella risk management strategies for feed and most especially involvement in panel discussion. Thank you safefood Knowledge Network.