Food scientists gather to ensure our safety

By November 2nd, 2006

Food Science Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) are hosting a workshop from 2 – 4 November, focussing on ensuring the safety of Australia’s red meat supply from Shiga Toxin–producing Escherichia coli contamination (STEC).

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a group of bacterial strains capable of causing significant human disease. The pathogen can be transmitted by food and has become an important pathogen in industrialized countries.

“The MLA and Food Science Australia have a long and successful history of working together to ensure the safety of our red meat supply, particularly in managing the risk of STEC,”

Dr Desmarchelier says.

This workshop – which follows the 6th International Symposium on Shiga Toxin (Verocytotoxin)-producing Escherichia coli infections in Melbourne – will provide an opportunity to discuss future food safety concerns relative to STEC.

The invitation-only, small-group format – including a panel of experts, from the USA, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden – will facilitate in-depth exploration of the topic, sharing of knowledge and what can be done in the future to help prevent E coli infections.

The workshop is co-convened by Food Science Australia’s; Theme Director, Food Safety & Quality, Dr Patricia Desmarchelier and Stream Leader Control of Food Safety Hazards, Dr Narelle Fegan.

“The MLA and Food Science Australia have a long and successful history of working together to ensure the safety of our red meat supply, particularly in managing the risk of STEC,” Dr Desmarchelier says. “This workshop brings together international experts to help us remain at the forefront in this area.”

MLA Food Safety Program Manager, Ian Jenson, says it is vital the industry continues to build knowledge about E coli and how it can be prevented.

“Our industry has to stay ahead of the game by utilising the latest research and implementing world-leading disease prevention practices,” Mr Jenson says.

Food Science Australia is a joint venture of CSIRO and the Victorian Government and the MLA provides R&D services for the Australian red meat industry.

Fast facts

  • Food Science Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) are hosting a workshop from 2 – 4 November
  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a group of bacterial strains capable of causing significant human disease
  • The invitation-only, small-group format – including a panel of experts, from the USA, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden – will facilitate in-depth exploration of the topic, sharing of knowledge and what can be done in the future to help prevent E coli infections