The first objective of this project is to concentrate the effort of several European scientists on the study of the effects of the new European regulations and new tendencies in breeding management on the food-borne pathogens (traditional and emerging), in the farm and during the products processing, but also to determine the possible improvements reducing these contaminations. The socio-economic aspects of these changes will be also studied.<P>
In parallel, a study of the whole intestinal flora of poultry and of its interaction with the food-borne pathogens will be undertaken, using novel methodologies, in order to get knowledge helping in finding solutions to control this flora and thus to reduce the food-borne pathogens prevalence.
European consumers are becoming increasingly concerned over the safety and nutritional quality of their food, which must be free from pathogens and antibiotic residues. At the same time, food production systems must meet consumers concerns for animal welfare, environment and public health, leading to, for instance, rapid changes in poultry nutrition (e.g. ban of in-feed antibiotics) and rearing conditions (e.g. out-door breeding). However, and maybe as a direct consequence, most poultry breeders note at present an increase of the prevalence of digestive troubles among their flocks, linked to digestive bacterial flora dysfunctions. In turn, this could affect the colonisation of the animal intestinal tract by opportunistic bacteria, leading to a degradation of the hygienic quality of animal products meant for human consumption.In fact, there is a lack of data on the effect of the nutritional and rearing changes on the prevalence of food-borne pathogens in poultry production. In other respects, the knowledge of the ecology of the poultry intestinal flora is very poor because of the lack of accurate methodology. Fortunately, novel molecular techniques provide unique opportunities for investigating bacterial diversity. <P>
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/079_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.