Inagro organized theme day on Water in Agriculture and Horticulture

Inagro organised its annual theme day covering various uses and treatments of water in agriculture and horticulture. Different aspects were shown such as the possibilities of reuse of water, water treatment and the use of the watertool. The water tool is an on-line application that can be used by farmers to assist them in the choice of water treatment depending on the initial quality of the water and the type of application.

Furthermore demonstrations of water irrigation and drainage techniques were given. Also demonstrations in the laboratory were organized. The interest of the visitors in the activities of the Inagro laboratory and in particular how analyses on water and also soil are performed was high. Demonstrations of the different steps of microbiological analysis of water were shown such as filtration of large amounts of water to concentrate the pathogenic bacteria, incubation; isolation of the bacteria and confirmation. Visitors were impressed by the huge labor intensity these types of analyses require. The take home message was clear : ‘reliable microbiological results with these techniques cannot not be expected before 24 hours after receipt of the water sample !’
Despite the large rainfall the day before the theme day, demonstration of water irrigation devices was useful to the visitors, mainly farmers.

Veg-i-Trades shares research output at Food Micro 2012 in Istanbul

Some of the young scientists engaged in the Veg-i-Trade research have presented oral or poster presentations at Food Micro 2012. Topics dealt with i) sampling to gain insight into the microbial contamination with pathogens during primary production of lettuce; ii) potential cross-contamination of E. coli between lettuce and wash water simulating an industrial fresh-cut lettuce wash process; iii) chlorine as lettuce wash water disinfectant with respect to the physicochemical quality and the chemical safety; iv) the use of biopolymers and rapid sand filtration as physicochemical reconditioning technique for vegetable washing processes; and v) the survival of norovirus, murine norovirus 1, MS2 phage and E. coli in various types of water used for irrigation of fresh produce. These and many other posters by young Veg-i-Trade researchers at various conferences can be downloaded here

ILSI Europe Seminar on Assessing Safety of Water Used in the Production of Fresh Produce Stockholm

An international group of experts, including 3 Veg-i-Trade participants, identified the microbial food safety concerns of significance to fresh produce in different regions of the world, with particular focus on pathogens derived from contaminated production and processing waters. A session was organized by ILSI ‘s Working group on Water and Sanitation At the “World water week”, 26-30th August in Stockholm, Sweden. The work of the ILSI group was also presented at Food Micro 2012 in Istanbul by Veg-i-Trade coordinator Mieke Uyttendaele.

Veg-i-Trade takes part in the Danish Symposium on “Global Safety of Fresh produce”

An International Symposium on Global Safety of Fresh Produce was held on 16 August 2012 at Axelborg, Copenhagen, Denmark.Around 70 people participated in the symposium and it was a great success. Speakers from US, Brazil, China, Denmark and Veg-i-Trade presented and the session motivated international networking concerning innovative solutions to global safety of fresh produce.

Veg-i-Trade provides it views on Water sources and quality in the fresh produce supply chain at GlobalGap, Köln

Veg-i-Trade has presented the concept and research work in progress at Global Gap TC Crops in Köln June 19th. In particular some research output was shared on water as a resource, biological hazards, microbial guidelines, water treatment, risk-based decision making on the sources and quality of water to be used in fresh produce supply chain

Meet and greet Veg-i-Trade in the Summer of 2012 at various conferences

“IAFP annual meeting”, July 22-25th, Rhode Island, US organized by the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) to provide food safety professionals worldwide with a forum to exchange information on protecting the food supply. Veg-i-Trade contributes to the session “Food Safety and International Trade: Opportunities and Challenges”.

“Global Safety of Fresh produce”, August 16th, Copenhagen, Denmark, a one day symposium organized by DTU-National Food Institute, Danish Horticulture, and Danish Agriculture & Food Council to discuss current issues on safety of fresh produce with an international audience of scientists, governments and stakeholders. Veg-i-Trade will contribute by presenting its work and providing its ideas on roadmaps to enhance safety of fresh produce in the EU and beyond.

The “World water week”, 26-30th August, Stockholm, Sweden is hosted and organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Veg-i-Trade contributes with its work to presentations in the session organized by ILSI ‘s Working group on Water and Sanitation :“Assessing Safety of Water Used in the Production of Fresh Produce”.

“Food Micro 2012”, 3-7th September, Istanbul, Turkey, a biannual ICFMH related meeting, this year taking place in Istanbul on the topic of Global Issue in Food Microbiology. Veg-i-Trade has selected presentations in the Session Risk assessment and Consumer Safety.

Veg-i-Trade @ Europadag in Sint-Gillis Waas

The 6 May 2012, Veg-i-Trade participated at the project market from the “Europadag” in Sint-Gillis Waas (Belgium). This event was organized by the East-Flemish province government and aimed to present the activities from several European projects to inhabitants of East-Flanders.

“Europa is closer to you than you would think spontaneously”. With this slogan, the East-Flemish province government organized an event to inform the citizens of several projects that are (co)-funded by the European Union. The subjects of the projects were diverse such as public health, bio diversity, water treatment and also food safety. The event consisted of a cycling tour and a visit of the project market using “the GC route”. Via interactive demonstrations, project presentations, workshops and tastings, participants could discover what Europe does for its citizens. In this framework Veg-i-Trade has presented several of its research topics in an accessible way

Veg-i-Trade Workshop on “Norovirus in Raspberries” 27th March 2012

A workshop for individual producers of raspberries, associations, distributors, exporters, regulatory agencies and all other parties interested in the problem of potential contamination of raspberries with Norovirus was jointly by University of Belgrade and Ghent University at the IN Hotel, Belgrade, Serbia.

4th Veg-i-Trade Consortium Meeting - Belgrade, 28-30 March 2012

Veg-i-Trade organized its fourth Consortium Meeting in Belgrade. The meeting was hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Belgrade in Serbia. Representatives of the Veg-i-Trade partners and members of the Advisory Board discussed the achieved results and future plans. The meeting was preceded by a one day workshop on the food safety of raspberries.

Veg-i-Trade Food Safety Management workshops toured in Europe in February & March 2012

Veg-i-Trade Workshops have been organised in Spain (Murcia, February 17th), In Norway (Oslo, February 27 – March 2), in Belgium (Lokeren, March 8th), in the Netherlands (Wageningen, March 16th) and in Serbia (Belgrade, March 27th) to connect and network with farmers, processors, traders in the supply chain in Europe to collect data in the framework of Work package 2 and 3 of Veg-i-Trade on mapping state-of-the art on Food Safety Management Systems in the fresh produce supply chain. In due time follow-up workshops will be organized.

Veg-i-Trade partner Ghent University visits Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India (19th to 25th January 2012)

In the week of January 19th to 25th 2012, both Prof. Mieke Uyttendaele (UGent) and dr. Liesbeth Jacxsens (UGent), visited the Indian partner within Veg-i-Trade, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), and met many of the stakeholders in fresh produce in the Tamil Nadu region (e.g., farmers, food processors, horticultural managers, exporters of fresh produce). UGent and TNAU jointly offered an international workshop on ‘Food Safety Management system for Fruits & Vegetables’.

Brussels, 23 Nov 2011, Veg-i-Trade at the EC’s workshop on Research in the Area of Microbiological Risks

Veg-i-Trade presented its main achievements during a one-day workshop co-organised by DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and DG Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) from the European Commission (EC). The workshop aimed to inform the EC about the potential of EU projects to provide scientific data and information relevant for policy and regulatory needs. The scientific results of Veg-i-Trade and its dissemination activities to key stakeholders were highly appreciated by the participants of the workshop.

Brussels, 5 Oct 2011: Veg-i-Trade reflects on the E. coli O1O4 outbreak with Freshfel Europe!

On October 5th 2011 Veg-i-Trade was invited to Freshfel Europe, the forum for the European fresh fruits and vegetables chain, to share knowledge from the research and expertise within Veg-i-Trade and to reflect on the recent German E. coli O1O4 outbreak. The complexity of the identification of pathogenic E. coli was discussed. In addition the ability (or inability) for the establishment of testing regimes and challenges on further improvement of “best practices” in the fresh produce chain were presented.

Varna, Bulgaria, 27-29 Sep 2011: discussions on “sustainability in the fresh produce supply chains”

The 3rd MONIQA International Conference took place in Varna, Bulgaria, from 27-29 September 2011and brought together more than 150 participants from around the globe to discuss food safety issues and their impact on the consumer.In the session dedicated to Food Safety, Food Security and Climate, Mieke Uyttendaele (coordinator of Veg-i-Trade) presented on the “Impact of global food market and climate change on food sovereignty”.

Warsaw, Poland 8-9 Sep 2011: Veg-i-Trade launched discussions on “sustainability in the fresh produce supply chains”

The Conference„Food and nutrition in 21st century” took place in Warsaw, Poland and was attended by more than 450 participants from all over the Europe, representing the science communities, industry leaders, national and European S&T policy bodies and civil society.It was a flagship event organized within the framework of Polish Presidency of the EU Council, under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, and in close collaboration with the European Commission.
During the debate major challenges to food security and safety as well as to nutrition and well being of European citizens were identified and the measures which shall be undertaken to mitigate them were proposed. In the session dedicated to “sustainability in the food chain”, the coordinator of Veg-i-Trade, Mieke Uyttendaele, presented the feedback of discussions with the Veg-i-Trade consortium on the “Impact of global food market and climate change on food sovereignty” and provided some inputs on the way forward for science to contribute to sustainable innovation and the EU 2020 strategy on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Torino, 17-21 July 2011, ISHS Conference

The Second ISHS international Conference on Quality Management of Fresh Cut produce: Convenience Food for a Tasteful Life, took place in Torino, Italy, 17-21 July 2011.
With three oral presentations, Veg-i-Trade was prominently present at this international conference.

Ghent, 28 January 2011, Discussion forum "Dealing with Food Safety Issues in Fresh Produce", updated report available

A discussion forum on “Dealing with Food Safety Issues in Fresh Produce” was organised at Ghent University on January 28th 2011, linked to the 2nd Veg-i-Trade Consortium meeting that took place in Ghent in that month. This discussion forum was intended to provide a unique opportunity to explore the food safety experience of different stakeholders from the fresh produce supply chain. Participants included representatives from primary production, fresh produce processing industry, retail, research institutes and universities, consumer organisations and food safety authorities. Present and emerging food safety issues, challenges and control measures were identified, discussed and prioritised. The discussion has been captured and is summarized in the report.

Istanbul, 13 – 17 of July 2011, Veg-i-Trade @ IAMCR

The IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research) conference took place in Istanbul (Turkey), from the 13th till the 17th of July 2011 and was hosted by the Kadir Has University. IAMCR is the worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research.

Oslo, 6– 8 July 2011, third Veg-i-Trade Consortium Meeting

Representatives of the 23 Veg-i-Trade partners and the Veg-i-Trade Advisory Board attended the third Consortium meeting. It took place in the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) in Oslo, from the 6th until the 8th of July, 2011. The meeting was preceded by a one week Veg-i-Trade training course on microbiological methods and a one day training on Horticultural Assessment Schemes (HAS). After 1 year and 2 months of Veg-i-Trade, the progress of the Veg-i-Trade work package activities, collaborations and also the food sovereignty issue were discussed by the 51 participants.

Ede, 18-20 May 2011, Veg-i-Trade at IAFP Europe Conference-UPDATE

With four presentations and four posters, Veg-i-Trade was prominently present at the International Association for Food Protection’s (IAFP) European Symposium on Food Safety.
With ca. 200 attendants from academia, competent authorities, and industry of various countries worldwide, the IAFP Europe symposium in Ede provided an excellent forum to learn about the latest developments and techniques in food safety. Dr. Liesbeth Jacxsens (Veg-i-Trade WP 3 leader) presented Veg-i-Trade and the rationale for the selection of its case studies based on vulnerability of fresh produce items toward microbial and chemical hazards, climate change, trade flows and consumption patterns. Prof. Mieke Uyttendaele - (Veg-i-Trade Coordinator) chaired the session about Foodborne Viruses. She also gave a presentation about the ‘Food Safety Barometer’ developed by the Belgian food safety agency (part of the Advisory Board of Veg-i-Trade). Melanie De Vocht (Ph.D student of Veg-i-Trade WP 10 at UGent) presented the first results of a survey, conducted in November 2010, about food risk communication and the role of governmental trust. Also Inge Van Der Linden - Ph.D student at UGent and working on a Veg-i-Trade related topic at the Agricultural Research Institute (ILVO) in Melle, Belgium - presented her recent work on the survival of E. coli O157 and Salmonella in irrigation water and their subsequent survival on greenhouse grown lettuce. Inge was awarded with the price of best presenting young researcher at IAFP Ede...

Most presentations from the IAFP European Symposium on Food Safety recently held in Ede, The Netherlands meeting (including the presentations of the Veg-i-Trade speakers) are now available on the IAFP Web site. Presentations can be found at under the menu option "Post Meeting Information".

Milwaukee, July 31-August 3rd 2011, Veg-i-Trade at IAFP US annual meeting- UPDATE

The International Association for Food Protection will hold IAFP 2011, July 31-August 3 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year marks the 100-Year Anniversary for IAFP, which began as the International Association of Milk and Dairy Inspectors in Milwaukee in 1911. The Annual Meeting has become the leading meeting concerned with the protection of the worldwide food supply. Each meeting is attended by over 2,000 of the top industry, academic and government food safety professionals. It is the ideal forum to discuss on hot topic issues and new technologies in food safety. Safety of fresh produce is one of the major topics at the IAFP Annual meeting and thus several Veg-i-Trade partners will attend the meeting. Prof. Mieke Uyttendaele (Veg-i-Trade coordinator) will present at the Annual meeting the rationale for the selection of the Veg-i-Trade case studies and also will discuss the impact of Water Management in fresh produce processing industry on the prevalence and distribution of microbial contamination on fresh cut lettuce. Furthermore dr. Leen Baert and M.Sc Dan Li of the Ghent University will present state-of-the art on detection of viruses in fresh produce and the bottlenecks still associated with interpretation of RT-PCR test results in diagnosis of food borne viruses.

Belgrade, 1st of June 2011, Veg-i-Trade @ Serbia-regional platform for logistics and intermodal transport

On the conference “Serbia- regional platform for logistics and intermodal transport”, to be held in Belgrade, Serbia on the first of June 2011, Prof. Andreja Rajkovic will present Veg-i-Trade as part of the presentation “Climate stressors and cold-chain in fresh produce safety”.

Istanbul, 13-17 July 2011, Veg-i-Trade @ IAMCR conference

IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research) is the worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research. The focus of this year’s conference is “Cities, Connectivity and Creativity.” and will take place in Istanbul (Turkey) from 13 to 17 of July 2011. Veg-i-Trade will present the first experimental research on risk communication entitled: ‘How much threat should be relieved? The impact of an implicit or explicit low self-efficacy on food risk perception in a context of climate change and globalization’.

Oslo, June 27th –July 4th, Veg-i-Trade training course in microbiological methods

Between 27th June and July 4th, Veg-i-Trade organizes at Oslo a training course in microbiological methods. The main objective of the training course is to give hands-on training in methods for the detection and enumeration/quantification, when appropriate, of the target microorganisms that are included in the Veg-i-Trade project; bacterial fecal indicators (E. coli and enterococci), Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157 and non O157 VTEC, potential viral indicators (FRNA bacteriophages), Norovirus and protozoa (Cryptosporidium and Giardia).

Oslo, 5 of July, Veg-i-Trade Horticultural assessment Scheme (HAS) training

On 5th of July, Veg-i-Trade organizes at Oslo the Horticultural assessment Scheme (HAS) training. Horticultural Assessment Scheme (HAS) is a systematic approach in sampling and microbiological analysis developed in the frame of Veg-i-Trade for the fresh produce chain (farm, processing or trade level). HAS enables to obtain a helicopter view on microbial quality, hygiene and safety level of products and processes at primary production (farms) or at processing or trade companies.

Brussels, 29-30 March, Veg-i-Trade @ water Kick off meeting in Brussels : report & presentations

Veg-i-Trade has been invited by the ILSI Europe Emerging Microbiology Task Force to join and provide input from the Veg-i-Trade consortium to a new activity on ‘Water and Sanitation Perspectives’. This initiative was taken by ILSI Europe in collaboration with eight other ILSI branches (America, Brasil, India, Korea, South Africa, South-east Asia, Japan) and with the technical support of WHO and FAO.
Veg-i-Trade provided at the kick-off meeting in Brussels on 29-30th of March 2011 to the ILSI working group the Veg-i-Trade objectives (presentation of Veg-i-Trade coordinator Mieke Uyttendaele) and experiences in particular related to the use of water and the validation of water management as an increasingly critical point in the fresh produce supply chain (presentation of Veg-i-Trade WP 3 leader Liesbeth Jacxsens). Furthermore the research activities with regard to design and model efficiency of water treatment systems were discussed (presentation of Veg-i-Trade WP 5 leader Imca Sampers). Veg-i-Trade experts have engaged themselves to further contribute to the preparation of an ILSI document on Water and Sanitation, this in collaboration with a other experts from various countries and disciplines. The discussions in the ILSI working group will also provide valuable input to the Veg-i-Trade consortium and help to bench mark and provide added value to research activities going on in Veg-i-Trade

Oslo, 6-11 July 2011, Third Veg-i-Trade Consortium meeting

Representatives of the 23 Veg-i-Trade partners and the Veg-i-Trade Advisory board will attend the Third Consortium meeting from 6 to 11 July 2011 at the Norwegian
Veterinary Institute in Oslo,Norway. During this third meeting, results from the first year after the start of the Veg-i-Trade project will be presented, new strategic pathways will be explored and future Veg-i-Trade activities will be planned.

Milwaukee, July 31-August 3rd 2011, Veg-i-Trade at IAFP US annual meeting

IAFP (International Association for Food Protection) organizes its annual meeting, focused on the protection of the worldwide food supply, in Milwaukee (US) from June 30th-July 3rd 2011. Veg-i-Trade will present its selected fresh produce supply chains for risk assessment studies. In addition research results with regard to detection of Norovirus in fresh produce and impact of water management in fresh produce processing industry on microbial contamination will be discussed.

Torino, 17-21 July 2011, ISHS Conference

The Second ISHS international Conference on Quality Management of Fresh Cut produce: Convenience Food for a Tasteful Life, will be held in Torino, the 17-21 July 2011.