Food Safety and Quality in Europe

Senior researchers exchange

The Senior Researcher visited the institute of the Early Stage Researcher for a short-term visit to establish the relationship and discuss the proposal. 

The short visits helped to get to know each other and to establish a research and knowledge network. It was also a preparation for the Long Term visits of the Early Stage Researchers. It was a very interesting exchange of information and knowledge and also was important for further collaboration in projects. 

Six Senior Researchers visited the institutes of the Early Stage Researchers in 2013 and 2014. Each Senior Researchers wrote a report about the topic of his stay at the research station.

Below you can find some reports from the Senior Researchers.


Who hosted whom?

Gary Barker (IFR, UK) -> Martin Wagner (VUW, Austria):

In May 2014 Gary Barker, leader of the mathematical modelling work package for PROMISE, made a one week senior researcher mobility visit to the Veterinary University of Vienna. The objective for this visit was to explore opportunities for representation and analysis of sampling data, collected as part of PROMISE, surrounding the presence and persistence of Listeria monocytogenes in an Austrian factory that manufactures cheese products. Beatrix Stessl provided expert annotation of the data set and of the underlying sampling process as well as introducing details of the manufacturing and management processes that contribute to a scenario description. The visit allowed preparation and documentation of a complex data set that is suitable for modelling and identified a previous model, relating to listeria contamination in smoked fish processing plants (Malley et al. J. Food Prot. 76, 796, 2013), as a good starting point. Initial analyses of the PROMISE data points to some persistent strains of L. monocytogenes that are associated with the manufacturing facility but also indicates complex population dynamics associated with the ongoing management activities. 

During this visit Gary Barker was able to learn about complementary ongoing projects at Veterinary University of Vienna and was invited to present a departmental seminar about risk assessment. The visit has initiated a model development, based on stochastic dynamics of strain specific listeria populations, which will be continued by collaborations between IFR and VUW. 

Jana Minarovicova (VUP, Slovak Republic) -> Anca Nicolau (UDJG, Romania):
Ivan Rychlik (VRI, Chech Republic) -> Béla Nagy (VMRI, Hungary)

Getting an invitation from Hungarian partners of the PROMISE project, Dr. Rychlik first visited the CEFORM 2013 conference with a plenary presentation entitled CHICKEN INNATE IMMUNE RESPONSE TO ORAL INFECTION WITH SALMONELLA ENTERICA SEROVARS. Initial discussion on progress within the PROMISE project with Hungarian colleagues took part during the conference coffee breaks and dinners. On Oct 18, Dr. Rychlik moved to Budapest to Veterinary Medical Research Institute to discuss in detail recent joint results and future prospective with Prof. Beal Nagy and Dr. Ama Szmolka. Besides discussion of scientific results, a short stay business journey of Dr. Szmolka to the Veterinary Research Institute in Brno, Czech Republic, was planned for the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.

Beatrix Stressl (VUW, Austria) -> Sonja Smole-Mozina (UoL, Slovenia)
Beatrix Stressl (VUW, Austria) -> Gary Barker (IFR, UK)
Jordi Rovira (UoB, Spain) -> Martin Wagner (VUW, Austria)

The aim of my visit was to hold a meeting with different researchers involved in the Promise project from VUW. In that time one Early Stage Researcher from my group - Beatriz Melero - was in VUW for 3 months.

We discussed with:

Beatrix Streesl: supervisor of Beatriz Melero work in her stay in Vienna about the different PFGE and MLST profiles of the Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated in Spanish companies and sent to Vienna for further characterisation. We discussed also about the design of different test to find out the resistance of those strains to different sanitizers used in the Spanish food plants.

Stephan Schmitz-Esser: Several Listeria strains isolated from Spanish companies were sequenced and a short seminar of how to deal with this information and the road map to find out the results were discussed.

Martin Wagner: a general discussion about the above topics and establishment of a strategy for the publication of these results.

A part a short visit to the VUW facilities was done as well.

Martin Wagner (VUW, Austria) -> Kieran Jordan (TEAGASC, IRL)

Martin Wagner, coordinator of PROMISE, visited the TEAGASC research labs located in Fermoy, Cork County, Ireland from the 11th to the 14th of November 2014. Goal of the visit was to finalize the PROMISE dissemination efforts with regard to

Paper work: Individual joint publications mainly originating from WP 2 (see Muhterem et al.).  Organisation and finalisation of the Joint Special issue planned for the International Journal of Food Microbiology in 2015,

Preparation of the Joint BacFoodNet PROMISE International Conference to be held in Vienna, 19th to the 21st of November 2014,

Preparation of Combined Illegal Food Import (Task 6.5) and Workshop with Policy and Decision Makers (Deliverable 5.3): Sensible data: A challenge for Risk Communication?

Preparation of Deliverable 5.2 Risk communication Manual,

Development of a strategy for the final reporting; Outline for the Final report.

Furthermore, as part of the dissemination efforts launched by the PROMISE management, Martin Wagner presented major part of the PROMISE outcome at the 5th Irish Cheese conference and at the national FIRM meeting.