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Integrating surveillance of animal health, food pathogens and foodborne disease in the European Union

Author(s) : F. Berthe, M. Hugas & P. Makela

Summary :

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment for food and feed safety. In collaboration with national authorities and in consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and information about existing and emerging risks. Assessing biological risks at the human–animal interface is becoming ever more challenging because this interface is in a permanent state of flux. In addition, questions about food safety cannot usually be categorised under one discipline; most of the time, they need to be addressed in a transdisciplinary way. Two scientific panels of EFSA, on biological hazards (BIOHAZ) and on animal health and welfare (AHAW), have, in many instances, jointly addressed such complex, multifaceted questions of risk. This paper reviews the integrated approach of the EU towards risk assessment, with a special focus on human health and the whole food chain, and on science-based interventions to lower the risk to consumers.

Animal health – Animal welfare – Antimicrobial resistance – Biological hazard – Biological monitoring – Food hygiene – Food microbiology – Food safety – Foodborne disease – Zoonosis.

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