Nofima has unique opportunities to study pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the research institute’s secure Pilot Plant. Photo: Kjell J. Merok © Nofima

Project Year 2019

New insights into food safety

 Food safety and quality  

Food safety in Norway is generally good, but foodborne disease outbreaks still occur, meaning more knowledge leading to safer food products is still required.

In the research project Patfoodchain, led by Nofima senior researcher Askild Holck, new methods for producing safer food have been investigated. The food industry is challenged by pathogenic microorganisms such as Listeria bacteria and E. coli, problem bacteria that can have costly consequences in conjunction with foodborne disease outbreaks, product recalls, regulatory compliance and various control measures.

Serious consequences

In addition, the industry is required to reduce costs and waste and to increase the shelf life of products. At the same time, there is a pressure to reduce inhibitory substances such as
salt and preservatives in food – without negatively affecting food safety. The continued focus on food safety is an important competitive advantage for Norwegian food. “There are thousands of registered food-borne disease cases per year, and most certainly a large number of unreported cases. There can be serious consequences for those who get sick, and we have had fatal cases caused by both food-borne Listeria and E. coli in Norway”, says Holck. Nofima has unique opportunities to study pathogenic bacteria and viruses under various production and storage conditions in the research institute’s secure Pilot Plant, making it ideal for studies like the Patfoodchain project.

User benefits

“The project has provided results that have a direct user benefit for the industry”, says Hock. In the Patfoodchain project we have studied products like cured sausage, eggs, chicken, salmon and leafy greens, as well as one of the greatest global health threats today, namely the problem associated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. “By designing organizational frameworks and management strategies that handle these challenges we can contribute to reducing the risk of Norway experiencing the same serious problems associated with antibioticresistant bacteria that we see in many other countries”, concludes Holck.

The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

The Research Council of Norway

More useful research results