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Strengthening Food Safety in Europe

13 February 2015

EU - An upcoming conference on food safety hopes to build upon the high levels of cross-border cooperation achieved by the EU-funded FOODSEG project.

The FOODSEG project, completed in April 2014, successfully identified key food safety problems and risks and put forward new ideas on how to tackle these challenges. Now a follow-up conference in Rome, Italy has been organised to help further integrate these solutions and promote food safety along the supply chain.

Experts from a variety of fields – from agriculture and food production to inspection and consumer groups – will attend the event from 23 to 24 April 2015. The FOODSEG 2014+ Network event hopes to initiate cooperation, technology transfer and common research projects and also act as a platform to disseminate the project results.

In addition, the FOODSEG network has invited three young researchers to the event following a competition asking for ambitious project ideas. More than 20 proposals were submitted, with the winning proposals coming from Lithuania, Romania and Serbia.

Global food supply chains are increasingly complex and interlinked, which is why food safety requires joint efforts within the EU and beyond. Recent food safety scandals have underlined the fact that rapid coordinated action can make a significant difference to both consumer safety and consumer confidence in the system.

The FOODSEG project, which ran from 2011 to 2014, sought to strengthen food safety in Europe by identifying new means of cooperation. The three-year initiative was unique in the fact that it focused not on the research itself but rather on coordinating and supporting action. The consortium network comprised EU and international consortia from all EU countries, along with Serbia, Egypt and Viet Nam.

Cooperation was achieved through the establishment of an online platform with best practice examples, along with expert working groups to coordinate specific research activities and to support policy development at EU level. The consortium website helped to promote network members and their expertise, provide regular Information on funding opportunities along the feed-food chain and disseminate relevant results from EU-funded projects.

The consortium also contributed to several EU technology platforms, especially those which have food safety as part of their strategic research agenda. These include Food for Life, Plants for the Future, Global Animal Health, Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction and Water Supply and Sanitation.

FOODSEG experts played a critical role in developing EU-wide strategies and recommendations for food handling and other related areas such as consumer, research, health and agriculture policies.

Following the success of the project, the FOODSEG consortium decided to keep the network going and to continue with the project’s unique cooperative approach. This FOODSEG 2014+ Network is the follow-up action of the EU-funded project, and focuses on bringing experts working along the full food chain. Experts can join and contribute towards deepening cross-border collaboration in food safety. The symposium in Rome this April is an important part of this, enabling network members to meet and keep this spirit of cooperation alive.

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