Food Safety Working Group (FSWG)

International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR)

FSWG was formally launched during the CIGR World Congress in June 2010 in Quebec City, Canada. CIGR Working Groups are appointed by the Executive Board to carry out studies on specific subjects of international importance and interest.

Food safety is a major public health and economic issue both for foods consumed within a country and those that are exported. The total costs attributable to failures in food safety are notoriously difficult to estimate and include costs associated with the consequence of the diseases themselves as well as losses of product and consumer confidence.

 The consumer’s response to food safety issues is of paramount importance to the competitiveness of international industry. Any evidence, or indeed belief, of a potential risk from food has the potential to result in severe health outbreaks and marketing disruption as well as loss of sales. High standards of food safety will, therefore, remain important and determinant

for the consuming and producer countries. Technologies and processes that enable the production of high safety products as well as appropriate management and analytical procedures are essential to meet the demands in a globalised and competitive world market.

Mission Statements

• Improve understanding of hazards and their risks at different steps in the food chain, i.e. creating the knowledge base needed to support the rational application of control measures and the development of new methods, monitoring and management systems related to the incidence and prevention of risk and hazards in foods;

• Improve the knowledge to strengthen the food chain, e.g. the development and improvement of systems and technologies (emerging preservation technologies and optimization of traditional ones) for continuously improving the safe production and supply of foods;.

• Understand the human factor, i.e. consumer perception of risks and the need for communication between industry, government and academic organizations.

Aims and Objectives

The general objective of FSWG is to identify researchers specialized in all the fields related to Food Safety, aiming at presenting new achievements and trends in the Area, as well as identifying necessities and opportunities of joint research for providing scientific information and technical advances in order to satisfy the demands and necessities of consumers and manufactures’ along the food chains worldwide.

1. Gathering, generating and disseminating information on predicting and monitoring the behaviour and fate of emerging biological and chemical hazard;

2. Divulging advances on risk assessment and risk-benefit evaluation;

3. Disseminating information on tools, preservation practices and processes to ensure safety along the food chain;

4. Understanding and addressing consumer concerns with food safety issues.

Expected outcomes

• Description of the microorganisms responsible to the various environmental stimuli and stresses in food matrices; prediction of the effects and eventual consequences that the microorganisms might have on resistance and persistence;.

• Description of the behaviour and virulence traits of food-borne pathogens and the mechanisms of emergence;

• Description of chemical contaminants in foods and identification of strategies for their reduction; generating and interpreting data on the fate of chemicals in the food chain and improving exposure assessments for key potential hazards, including the migration of chemicals from packaging materials into food;.

• Description of measures to avoid biological and chemical contamination in agricultural production and to reduce formation of heat-induced contaminants by application of novel food preservation technologies;

• Identification of the needs for development and validation of quantitative risk assessment tools and models based on the generated data for those areas with the biggest impacts on reducing food-borne illnesses; refinement of data required for risk assessment of food allergens and tools to analyze such data;

• Information on processing technologies for reduction or elimination of hazards at the level of primary production, novel and traditional technologies for reduction or removal of chemical and biological hazards during processing;.

• Knowledge of methodologies for tracking and tracing of microbes, contaminants and allergens;

• Logistic approaches for strengthening safe distribution of foods, including abuse detection and approaches for the prevention of food adulteration and bioterrorism;

• Identification and quantification of determinants of consumer trust and confidence in the food provision system for an understanding of consumer confidence and its changes over time (monitoring);.

• Understanding consumers’ perception of risk issues, particularly in the context of risk benefit trade-offs and the amplification of risk perceptions beyond the available scientific evidence;.

• State of the art on information for an effective consumer communication strategies and messages on risk-related issues.


FSWG Chair: Prof. Antonio Martinez

Vice-Director of the Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos,

I.A.T.A., Avda. Agustín Escardino, 7 46980 Paterna (Valencia), Spain

T.: +34 963 90 0022

F.: +34 963 63 6301

E-mail: conaml@iata.csic.es


Vice Chair: Dr. Amauri Rosenthal

Brazilian Institute for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA)

Food Technology Research Centre,

Av. das Americas 29501, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 23020-470 Brazil

T.: +55 21 36229630

F.: +55 21 36229713

E-mail: arosent@ctaa.embrapa.br, amaurictaa@yahoo.com


Vice Chair: Dr. Tatiana Koutchma

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC),

Guelph Food Research Centre

93 Stone Road West, Guelph, N1G 1C5, Canada

T.: 1 519 7808083

F: 1 519 8292600

E-mail: tatiana.koutchma@agr.gc.ca


Secretary: Dr Tony Mutukumira

Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health,

Massey University, Private Bag 102904, Auckland 0745, New Zealand

T. +64 9 414 0800 extn 41203;

F. +64 9 350 5618

E-mail: A.N.Mutukumira@massey.ac.nz