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UCD Centre for Food Safety

Ionad Sábháilteachta Bia UCD

The development of quantitative microbial risk assessment models for the identification of enteropathogen control strategies in food chains

Over the past two decades, Salmonella enteritidis has become prominent as a significant cause of human infections, with hen eggs being recognised as a principal source of the organism. Two different control strategies have evolved in the Republic and Northern Ireland based on eradication and vaccination respectively. It remains unclear the efficacy of these two different approaches for the control of Salmonella spp. in eggs on both sides of the border. Thus, it is necessary to consider and compare the risk reduction measures in operation in each jurisdiction, in order to model their efficacy.

In recent years Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) has emerged as a tool that can be used in public health research to estimate the risk of exposure by foodborne hazards to humans via various foods and transmission routes. This project will focus primarily on estimating the risks to the Irish population being exposed to Salmonella associated with the consumption of domestically produced eggs. In addition, the models developed in the study will be used to investigate the effects of potential interventions along these food chains that could reduce the prevalence or levels in foods and estimate any corresponding reduction in the likelihood of consumers being exposed to these agents.

- Dr. Paul Whyte

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