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ΣCHAIN - Developing a Stakeholders' Guide on the Vulnerability of Food and Feed Chains to Dangerous Agents and Substances


To develop methodologies that will optimise the traceability process with respect to chain vulnerability to contamination.

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The European citizen requires harmonised food and feed chain traceability systems that offer protection from poisoning by dangerous agents and substances.

This project will evaluate current chain traceability systems, including methodologies for the identification of contaminants.
Chain vulnerability varies depending on chain type, and case studies will be conducted on four "high vulnerability" products, representing 3 major categories of chains. The products are: drinking water (i.e. a rapid contamination chain); milk powder (i.e. a batch mixing chain); and both poultry meat and farmed salmon (i.e. long geographic chains). Each of these chains will be mapped and their vulnerability to contamination assessed.
A risk model will be developed to provide quantitative risk assessments of chain vulnerability. A generic Framework will be constructed for the asses sment of chain vulnerability and the prioritisation of chain contamination risk. This Framework will be validated using the case studies and wider inputs from stakeholders.
The outputs from these tasks will be synthesised into a Stakeholders' Guide to food and feed chain vulnerability to contamination. The Guide will be in book format, supported by software that enables the stakeholder to input specific chain data for a product and produce associated chain maps and assessments of contamination risks. It will also enable the stakeholder to examine risk minimisation options (viz. corrective measures), such as enhanced security of the most vulnerable links. This software will be accessible via the project web portal.
This is a 3-year ca. 2.93 million euro STREP with 10 partners that achieves critical mass comprising centres of expertise from universities, research institutes and industry (2 SMEs) spread across the EU and Brazil.

For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> or the <a href="; target="_blank">&Sigma;CHAIN </a> Web sites.

Butler, Francis
University College Dublin
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