ILSI Europe’s session at the IAFP Annual Meeting 2017

ILSI Europe's session at the IAFP Annual Meeting 2017
Tampa, Florida, US
09/07/2017 – 12/07/2017

ILSI Europe's session at the IAFP Annual Meeting 2017 on ‘How to Exploit Omics Data on Pathogen Behaviour in Microbiological Risk Assessment: An Update on the Current Research’ Presenting Results from 2016 Workshop on Next Generation MRA.


Following the technological advancements in the field of the nucleic acids sequencing and the possibility to obtain a large number of sequences (millions) from the microorganisms present in a single sample without the need for their cultivation, new opportunities have become available in terms of data production and exploitation in the field of microbiological risk assessment (MRA). More specifically, the behavior of foodborne pathogens, deciphered with transcriptomic, proteomic, and/or metabolomics techniques, during the whole food chain and in response to specific stresses, can now be studied. The current challenge scientists are facing is the integration of such data into risk assessment schemes.

In 2016, at the IAFP European Symposium in Athens, the workshop, "Next Generation MRA (Microbiological Risk Assessment) - Integration of Omics Data into Assessment" was co-organized by ILSI Europe, IAFP, and ICFMH.  During the workshop, four breakout groups (epidemiology, metagenomics, exposure assessment, and hazard characterization) brain-stormed and produced a common strategy to go beyond the current knowledge. In this symposium we presented the main outcomes of the workshop, including the points of view of the academia and the industry, and we havevadvanced the discussion related to how to best use omics data in MRA.

SESSION: ‘How to Exploit Omics Data on Pathogen Behaviour in Microbiological Risk Assessment:An Update on the Current Research’

10 July 2017, 3:30 PM-4:30 PM


Chairs – Prof. Luca Cocolin (University of Turin, IT),
Prof. Marcel Zwietering (University of Wageningen, NL)
Co-Organiser – Ms Lilou van Lieshout (ILSI Europe, BE)

The Use of Metagenomics in Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA)
Dr Kalliopi Rantsiou (University of Turin, IT)

The Use of Omics in Exposure Assessment
Dr Heidy den Besten (University of Wageningen, NL)

The Use of Omics in Hazard Characterisation
Dr Trevor Phister (PepsiCo International, UK)

SESSION: ‘Foodborne Viruses: Detection, Risk Assessment and Control Options in Food Processing’

11 July 2017, 1:30 PM-3:00 PM


Foodborne viruses are recognised among the top rated food safety priorities in a very recent report of risk assessment experts on the identification of food safety priorities using the Delphi technique (Rowe and Bolger, 2016) and have become over the past few years a greater concern to the food industry. All parties agree that control measures for viruses throughout the food chain are required; however, much still needs to be understood with regard to the effectiveness of these controls and how to properly validate their performance, whether it is the personal hygiene of food handlers, the effects of processing on foods at risk or the interpret and action on a positive test result in a virus testing program (EFSA, 2011 and FSA, 2015).


In this session, ILSI Europe presented the current work of an ILSI Europe expert group that provided a description of foodborne viruses, their characteristics and responses to stress, as well as a critical discussion on the technologies developed for their detection and control. We discussed the way forward on the applications for science and industry. The recommendations in the current work allowed industry to perform effective control options for viruses in food processing. We presented the current state of the science on epidemiology, public health burden, risk assessment and management options for viruses in food processing environments and drawned practical conclusions.


Chair – Ms Lilou van Lieshout (ILSI Europe, BE)

Pro’s and Con’s of Methods of Detection for Viruses in Foods
Prof. Albert Bosch (University of Barcelona, ES)

Translating Risk Assessment of Foodborne Viruses into Practice
Dr Trevor Phister (PepsiCo International, UK)

Effect of Processing Technologies to Control Viruses in Foods
Dr Alvin Lee (Institute of Food Safety and Health, US)


11 July 2017, 3:30 PM-4:00 PM

Risk Assessment for Fresh Produce:  Issues Faced While Putting "Formal MRA" into Industrial Practice in the Field
Dr Roy Betts (Campden BRI, UK)


For more information on this event, please contact Ms Lilou van Lieshout, Scientific Project Manager.