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Foodborne diseases B14

Research projects related to the programme

The FSA is continuing to commission projects to improve our understanding of the role the food chain plays in the development and spread of AMR bacteria.
This survey estimates the contributions of the main sources of human campylobacter infection and seeks to identify any changes over time.
Social research on coated frozen chicken products to cook and eat at home.
This survey follows on from previous reports examining fresh, whole UK-produced chickens sold at non-major retailers. The survey again looks at prevalence and levels of campylobacter contamination and antimicrobial resistance on chicken neck skin.
Results available
The aim of this project is to address the lack of standardised methods for the detection of HEV in pork meat and pork products.
A systematic literature review of the different methodologies used to estimate foodborne infectious intestinal disease in different countries. This includes assessing whether comparisons of foodborne disease rates between countries using different approaches are possible.  
This paper includes the Foodborne Disease Estimation Model (FDEM), developed by analysts at the FSA to provide annual estimates for the burden of foodborne disease in the UK.
An internal FSA review of the Norovirus Attribution Study (NoVAS)
Assessing the contribution made by the food chain to the burden of UK-acquired norovirus infection
This survey follows on from the 2014/15 survey examining fresh, whole UK-produced chickens sold at retail. The survey again looks at prevalence and levels of campylobacter contamination both on the chicken skin and on the outside of the packaging.
Results available
This project will produce a mathematical model to predict the thermal stringency, in terms of time and temperature combinations, needed to inactivate hepatitis E virus (HEV) typically found in different matrices, including foods such as pork and pork products, water and blood.
This study will use sequencing to estimate the diversity of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes in selected ready-to-eat (RTE) foods. This will give insights into the burden and source of AMR genes in the gut microbiome, which could be a key driver of AMR.
Scientists, clinicians and policy advisors from EU member states took part in a workshop in March 2018 to encourage cooperation among countries in science and policy-making relating to HEV.
A scheme has been introduced to assess the capability of individual food laboratories in performing Campylobacter spp. detection and enumeration test methodologies.
This survey looks at antimicrobial resistance in raw beef, pork and chicken samples at retail.
Through a systematic review, this project looks to establish the relative proportion of foodborne disease cases caused by food preparation and handling practices in the home.
Results available
This project used expert review of foodborne pathogen outbreak case studies to investigate the integration of pathogen genomic sequence data with other datasets in incident and outbreak investigations. The work identified benefits of such an approach and issues/barriers. Some of the findings support implementation while others could guide further research
Results available
In 2010, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) published a target to reduce the levels of Campylobacter in UK-produced fresh chicken. The target was informed by a mathematical model to estimate levels of Campylobacter through the broiler supply chain. The model was found fit for purpose, however, some improvements could be made.
Results available
The aim of this work was to develop and validate phenotypic and molecular methods for isolation, detection and partial characterisation of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae in selected food matrices.
Results available
A new report in a series providing an overview of publicly funded research relating to microbiological safety of food has been produced by the Microbiological Safety of Food Funders Group (MSFFG).
Results available
This study aims to determine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Campylobacter in retail chicken and AMR in Salmonella in retail pork as well as commensals in these meats.
Results available
Regarding our survey on Salmonella and Campylobacter in fresh and frozen chicken for sale at retail outlets.
Results available
This project assessed the risks to human health from Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii) in unpasteurised milk and milk products from goats, sheep and cows in the UK. C. burnetii is a bacterium that causes Q fever in animals and humans.
Results available
Packing poultry in a modified atmosphere (MA) with a high oxygen concentration has been suggested as a way to reduce the numbers of Campylobacter on poultry meat. High O2 MA gas mixes reduced the numbers of Campylobacter. A MA with 80% O2 and 20% CO2 would be expected to reduce the numbers of campylobacters.
Results available
This project has developed a system dynamics model of the norovirus transmission system to assess the relative importance of the different epidemiological transmission mechanisms. The model will be further developed by the FSA’s Operational Research Unit to help prioritise further research into norovirus and to model the potential impact of different interventions.
Results available