Photo: National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark

Working across sectors to solve food safety problems

Monday 01 Jun 15
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Contact

Tine Hald
Professor
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 70 94

Many important microbiological risks in food, such as salmonella, relate in some way to food producing animals. The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, is one of the world leaders in pursuing solutions to prevent transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans through food, thereby helping to solve food safety problems across sectors and disciplines in line with the One Health concept.

Finding solutions to problems related to food safety often requires cooperation across sectors. The One Health concept draws on several disciplines and advocates coordination, communication and data sharing between all parties involved with tackling  food safety challenges.

The One Health concept is based on the recognition that human and animal health are inextricably linked and focuses on the disease risks and the challenges caused by the complex interactions between animals, food, people and the environment.

The aim is to provide solutions to challenges such as emerging and endemic zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance in a way that benefits animals, people and the environment. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can transfer from animals and food to humans.

Long tradition for using One Health in Denmark

Denmark has a long tradition for using the One Health approach and The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, is among world leaders in pursuing sound One Health solutions.

This has included working to provide the scientific basis to implement measures to lower the prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in animals (such as salmonella in chickens or egg-laying hens). In a more generic sense the institute has provided the scientific basis for agricultural policy change, such as the European ban on the use of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal production.

Read more

The One Health concept is described in further detail in an article in Pan European Networks Science & Technology: One Health. The article is written by Jørgen Schlundt, former director of the National Food Institute, now professor at DTU Management Engineering.

The National Food Institute also organizes a One Health Summer Course in Denmark. The course is offered jointly by the Technical University of Denmark and University of Copenhagen, through their common food, veterinary and public health platform, Food Science Copenhagen (FOSCO).