ILSI Europe’s Scientific Sessions at the 2021 IAFP European Virtual Symposium

IAFP European Symposium, Virtual meeting
27/04/2021 – 28/04/2021

About the Symposium
Since 2005, IAFP's European symposium has been shaping the future of food safety by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas with colleagues from across Europe working in industry, government, and academia. The Symposium is an excellent forum to gain knowledge about the latest developments and techniques in food science and safety. The symposium will be held virtually 27-28 April 2021. For more details please visit the IAFP website.

This year ILSI Europe participated to the 2021 IAFP European Virtual Symposium through two Symposia supported by its Microbiological Food Safety Task Force and was also present as exhibitor with a virtual stand.

Symposium 1
Validation of Control Measures for Foodborne Pathogens in Foods: Challenges and Solutions
Tuesday, 27 April 2021, 12:30 PM (CET)

Food facilities are required to implement a written food safety management plan and document that their control measures are effective against the identified hazards. The effectiveness of control measures to meet a pre-defined process control objective must be validated prior to implementation of the food safety management plan. A validation study provides evidence that control measures are capable of effectively controlling the identified hazards and therefore meet the process control objective. Scientific data and technical evidence may also come from a variety of other sources including safe harbors (i.e. well documented and accepted processes), published references, guidance documents, and mathematical modelling. Determining key requirements that must be included in a validation of control measures involves significant challenges such as identifying the hazard(s) to be controlled, setting critical control parameters, understanding the interactions between the hazard and the food and collecting adequate scientific, technical and/or experimental evidence.

Recently, an international, multidisciplinary expert group, convened under the aegis of the European Branch of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI Europe), generated a guidance document on validation studies. In this symposium, expert group members from industry and academia gave examples and guidance on how to successfully plan and perform a validation study.


  • Process and product parameters to consider for designing a validation study, Dr Anett Winkler, Cargill, DE
  • Determining performance criteria for a validation study, Dr Elissavet Gkogka, Arla Foods, DK
  • Obtaining scientific evidence and data evaluation for process validation, Dr Heidy Den Besten, University of Wageningen, NL

Symposium 2
Processing Environment Monitoring in Low Moisture Foods Production Environments are We Looking for the Right Thing(s) / Microorganisms, in the Right Places?
Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 12:30 PM (CET)

Over recent years, both industry and regulators have become aware of the role that microbiological monitoring of the processing environment makes to improved food safety. Such monitoring is often referred to as processing environment monitoring (PEM). Its importance in the manufacture of low-moisture foods (LMF) is key to pathogen control. Many documents, certification schemes and regulations underline its importance, provide general guidance and even require PEM as part of Food Safety management systems. PEM is required in EU Regulation 2073 since 2005.
Recent foodborne outbreaks involving low moisture foods in Europe highlights that a well-designed PEM is increasingly important in the context of food safety management systems. However, PEM can only form an integral part of food safety systems when it is designed and implemented adequately-assure that the processing environment will not contribute to contamination of products.

From a practical point of view, there are still many questions on how to set up and evaluate a useful PEM to provide not only early warnings of potential product contamination, but also ongoing verification of environmental control in dry production environments. Within ILSI Europe, an expert group has evaluated the current existing scientific data on microorganisms of importance and/or concern in dry production environments. This includes pathogens as well as indicators and their role, i.e., what do they indicate and how could indicators be used to improve food safety. The final report will help industry and regulators set up and evaluate targeted PEM Programs.


  • Pathogens of concern in low-moisture foods – an overview, Prof. Séamus Fanning, University College Dublin, IE
  • Low moisture food processing environment – what is specific?, Dr Anett Winkler, Cargill, DE
  • Indicators and their role in Processing Environmental Monitoring, Dr Ellen Wemmenhove, Arla Foods, DK

For more information on this virtual event, please contact Dr Angeliki Stavropoulou, Scientific Project Manager at