The overall objective of Lot 1 of the tender n° EAHC/2010/BTSF/09 is to train staff of the competent authorities of EU Member States (MSs) involved in official control activities and possible participants from third countries in the development of best practices on the implementation of:
§ Microbiological Criteria and investigation of food-borne outbreaks
§ Monitoring and control of zoonoses and zoonotic agents with a special focus on the control and eradication of Salmonella in poultry and pigs
The training courses will primarily train staff of competent authorities involved in official control activities at national level in MSs and keep them up-to-date with all relevant aspects of EU legislation in order to facilitate a more uniform and objective practice and a harmonized, proper and effective control of Salmonella and other zoonotic agents. There will be special focus on the control and eradication programmes already harmonized. For areas where EU legislation has not yet been put in place, the training courses should communicate practical experience and discussions as a background for upcoming control programmes.
The training courses are planned in a way as to further increase and update the participant’s knowledge of the EU legislation related to the Directive 2003/99/EC, Regulation (EC) No 2160/2004 and Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005. Further, as import of live animals, hatching eggs and relevant foodstuffs from third countries is becoming a subject to the submission and approval of control programme equivalent to the MSs, the courses will provide third countries with necessary knowledge concerning export live animals, hatching eggs and relevant foodstuffs to EU by guiding them to implement control programmes or to provide equivalent guarantees. State-of-the art knowledge within the different topics will be presented during the courses as all tutors have been chosen due to their expertise with a field.
It is expected that the participating MSs will further increase the level of knowledge concerning food safety issues as the present courses build on top of the two BTSF courses on the topic (SANCO/2006/E2/021 and SANCO/2008/E2/1010) carried out during 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, respectively. During the first course in 2007-2008, the participants were introduced to EU legislation, Microbiological Criteria, zoonoses monitoring and reporting as well as epidemiological methods for food-borne outbreaks investigations during a five day course. The course was a mixture of presentations, case studies and panel discussions. For the second period (2009-2010), two different courses were developed as more time was needed to go into depth with the topics.
One course had focus on Microbiological Criteria and food-borne outbreak investigations. The Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 concerning Microbiological Criteria had been in force since 2006 and both tutors and participants had gained knowledge on how to implement surveillance programmes and monitor the results according to the regulation. Therefore, more case studies were introduced as well as more group and panel discussions. The second part of the course about how to handle food-borne disease outbreaks was expanded into a mini-course on outbreak detection, investigation and control. Outbreak investigation work to some degree resembling detective work and easily captures the attention of the participants and it was clear from the feedback we got at the second course that mixing the two subjects in the same course worked well.
The course on zoonoses and zoonotic agents was expanded with more focus on the implementation of the harmonized Salmonella control and eradication programmes that have come into force. Presentations and discussions on risk based management were introduced together with national examples. Further, monitoring according to the Directive 2003/99 EC was presented and discussed. Participants benefitted especially from the discussions of the challenges they have met during the practical implementation of the monitoring and control of Salmonella in the poultry production in the different MSs. This contributed to exchange of knowledge and harmonisation of the European control. In contrast, only few had practical national experience regarding control of Salmonella (or other food safety hazards) in the pig production and therefore there is still a significant need for presentation of the more basic issues and dilemmas regarding control Salmonella and other hazards in this production.