<UL> <LI> To organise an initial meeting to exchange modelling experiences, indicate the specific topics of interest and discuss research plans.
<LI>To publish a collaborative report on the comparison of models and the feasibility of a "consensus model".
<LI>To organise a meeting about developing a software package for a European consensus model for risk assessment of Campylobacter.
<LI>To develop a research plan for a 'user-friendly' risk model as a software package applicable in Europe, to support risk management on campylobacteriosis.
<LI>To catalogue any relevant data available in Europe and suggestions for harmonised quantitative data collection in Europe, to meet the data needs of the proposed model.
Microbiological risk assessment has become an important tool for food safety control. The existing risk assessments on Campylobacter, developed by Med-Vet-Net partners, are being compared to explore differences and similarities, and to come to a consensus about the best risk assessment methodologies appropriate for different risk management questions. <P>
Focus is exclusively on Campylobacter in broiler meat, which is considered an important source of human campylobacteriosis and to which most campylobacter risk assessment experiences in Europe are related.
At a meeting in March 2006 at Bilthoven, the Netherlands, 15 workpackage members from 8 partner institutes presented the different Campylobacter risk assessments in which they had been involved. The risk assessments were discussed and the modelling approaches, as applied in different countries, were explained and compared. This provided a general overview of the various approaches used. A number of differences were identified, including the tools applied for risk assessment (data collection and modelling) and the areas of focus (different parts of the production chain) for the research. <P>The research phase is now in progress, in which subgroups of WP partners will meet to discuss models and data in detail for each of the selected levels of production, i.e.: on farm; processing and retail; and preparation and illness. This will allow a comparison of several European risk assessment models, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches adopted