Fact: The reality is that you can’t see, smell or taste harmful bacteria that may cause serious illness. The reality is that you have to trust your food. Safe steps when it comes to producing, processing and preparing food is essential in order to prevent food borne diseases.
We want the food to be free of contagious matter, microorganisms, foreign particles or other contamination that can result in damaged health. Even though we eat to stay alive, the danger is always present that the food we eat might make us sick, or potentially kill us.
In the middle of 2004, the Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe) launched four food safety related projects within the focus area “Processing for food safety”, namely: “A Molecular Safety Approach for Campylobacter (CampyFood)”, “Acrylamide precursors; Limiting substrates and in vivo effects (NORDACRYL)”, “Company Risk Assessment Network (CRAN)” and “Integrating Food Safety and Traceability (IFSAT)”. These projects’ final reports are out, and indicate innovative steps in the future of food safety. In this NICe synthesis report, we present their main results.
In order to ensure the competitiveness of the Nordic food industry, and the safety of the Nordic consumer, it is essential with an open dialog and co-operation between authorities, researchers, consumers and industry.
Within the framework of four Food Safety projects financed by the Nordic Innovation Centre in the period from 2004-2007, the Nordic food industry, normally strongly competing, has experienced the benefits of collaboration and sharing of knowledge.
The authorities and industry also have overlapping needs and have equally profited from joining forces, sharing knowledge and expertise. This can act as an innovative work model for future emerging food safety issues in the Nordic region.
This Nordic platform of food safety, is also extended into a European setting, by the establishment of SAFEFOODERA 2004 - 2007: a leading European network coordinated by NICe.
The primary objective is to establish a European platform for protecting consumers against health risks from the consumption of food through a co-ordinated action. What started as a bottomup movement with its base in a pure Nordic collaboration has grown to a Europe-wide collaboration involving more than 30 countries.
The trust and mutual understanding built in these two platforms could prove to be a way forward, for future excellence in Nordic and European food safety.