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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



The Integrated Project (IP) PathogenCombat is taking a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to threats from new and emerging pathogens across the entire food chain. Seventeen small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs), three industrial partners and 24 research partners from 17 countries will work to substantially revise and improve Europe's food safety control systems and strategies.


PathogenCombat will develop new molecular-based methods to detect, predict and characterise pathogens along the food chain, and at the time of consumption.

The IP's large number of partners offering diverse expertise will allow it to take a multidisciplinary approach to studying eight new and emerging pathogens. The project will begin by obtaining an understanding at the molecular level and end by contributing to the production of safe foods. The studied pathogens include gram-negative and grampositive bacteria, a yeast, a filamentous fungus and two viruses. This profile is highly versatile in terms of origin, pathogenicity, physicochemical resistance, physiology and growth and survival requirements.


The IP's overall objective is to provide essential new information and methods to the food industry and public authorities on how to reduce food-borne pathogens. It will develop advanced platforms allowing real-time, in situ investigation of pathogens - how they get into food and feed and survive, and how they remain viable on contact surfaces and in farm animals' intestinal tracts. Studies will target milk and dairy products, ruminants, poultry and pigs and their meat products.

The platforms, several of which will be used for the first time in food safety studies, include bio-imaging, laser tweezers, phage display and convergent evolution, functional mammalian cell models, functional genomics and DNA-microarrays. PathogenCombat will also develop new processing technologies and new hygienic designs to prevent pathogen transmission along the food chain. To enable a truly preventive approach, the new information obtained will be applied to develop a food safety management system where processenvironment control is emphasised over end-product testing. This will allow proactive responses to new and emerging pathogens.

The IP's new data and methods will contribute to a strong European standard of food safety management, improving the health and well-being of EU citizens and the competitiveness of its food industry. For consumers, the goal is a European-wide attitude change regarding food safety, and a better insight into hygienic food handling at home. Increased availability of safe food and fewer reservations about processed food will boost the EU agro-food industry.

List of Partners

  • The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (Denmark)
  • University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Biomax Informatics (Germany)
  • Technical University of Denmark (Denmark)
  • The Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
  • Cocker Consulting (The Netherlands)
  • Bactoforce A/S (Denmark)
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France)
  • Federal Research Centre for Nutrition and Food (Germany)
  • Danisco A/S (Denmark)
  • University of Maribor (Slovenia)
  • University of Udine (Italy)
  • Swedish University of Agriculture (Sweden)
  • Veterinary Research Institute (Czech Republic)
  • Vermicon (Germany)
  • Congen (Germany)
  • University of Ghent (Belgium)
  • Profos (Germany)
  • Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary)
  • Universidad de Burgos (Spain)
  • Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)
  • Universitá di Bologna (Italy)
  • University of Ljubljana, Medical Faculty and Biotechnical Faculty (Slovenia)
  • Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (France)
  • Anidral (Italy)
  • Granarolo (Italy)
  • Pittas Dairy Industries (Cyprus)
  • Cooperativa Avicola y Ganadera de Burgos (Spain)
  • Institut Technique Français des Fromages (France)
  • Bergpracht-Milchwerk GmbH & Co (Germany)
  • Wegerer Gerold Geflügelzucht (Germany)
  • Geflügelspezialitäten Ziegler (Germany)
  • Jamones Segovia (Spain)
  • Somas (Hungary)
  • The Australian Food Safety Centre of Excellence (Australia)
  • Wageningen University (The Netherlands)
  • Warsaw Agricultural University (Poland)
  • University of Stuttgart (Germany)
  • EBTE Consultants (Greece)
  • Scottish Agricultural College (UK)
  • University of Lund (Sweden)
  • Colear Castilla Sociedad Cooperativa (Spain)
  • Martinez Loriente (Spain)
  • Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH (Germany)
Full title:
Control and prevention of emerging and future pathogens at cellular and molecular level throughout the food chain
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Morgens Jakobsen, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University,
EC Scientific Officer:
Dirk Pottier,
EU contribution:
€ 11.3M
Integrated Project

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top