University of Zagreb, Croatia
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of University of Zagreb carried out training and research activities in the following areas: human and veterinary public health, environmental protection; monitoring and professional expertises; hygiene and technology of foodstuffs of animal origin production. Most of the research is carried out through projects which are long-term and are funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Research projects serving the needs of the food safety, local administrative units and other clients are supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management through their VIP projects. International projects are carried either in cooperation with some EU countries or are co-financed by the corresponding ministries towards the 7th Research Framework Program (FP7). The laboratory facilities are modern and up to international research standards. The Department of poultry diseases is the responsible unit in PROMISE. Of relevance to the project this department covers veterinary microbiology and poultry diseases. The department has modern facilities to perform microbiology and molecular microbiology and runs an experimental animal unit. The microorganisms that will be considered in the PROMISE are Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp.
Contact Person: Estella Prukner-Radovcic
University of Zagreb @ promise
As a part of PROMISE consortium, Croatian team has participated in the WP1 and was a Task leader for Task 1.1.
In order to assess the level of risk to public and animal health of the uncontrolled imported food of animal origin entering into Republic of Croatia, altogether 100 food samples were collected at one sea port (Rijeka) and 6 border crossings between Croatia and third countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro). The sampling was conducted in the cooperation with veterinary inspectors (Veterinary and Food Safety Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture) and customs officers (Ministry of Finances). Croatian Food Agency was also actively involved in the implementation of the project, popularizing its character.
Samples collected at the borders were sent to the laboratories of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb, in order to identify the most important bacterial contaminants of food of animal origin - Listeria spp, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., and multidrug-resistant E. coli.
Confiscated samples were mainly imported from Bosnia, China, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania. Final destination for this food items were Croatia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland.
The results of the Croatian team were disseminated through participation to the project meetings, by publishing the abstracts on international congress and in journals. Younger scientists, by participating to the technical workshops, gained new knowledge and skills, but also strengthen the possibility for further mutual projects. The PhD student will also defend a doctoral thesis, based on the results of PROMISE project.
Finally I would like to congratulate and thank all those who were part of this very interesting project and confirm that the Republic of Croatia showed how it can be an equal participant in such a large international project. (Prof. Dr. Estella Prukner-Radovčić)