Seven national food safety authorities (FSA) from the old and new member countries were engaged through a special forum: the Sustainability and Policy Board (SPB). The FSAs reflected the data produced, contributed to the elaboration of deliverables, gave key note talks at a variety of meetings and managed to organize 20 regional workshops in total.
To sustain the results of the project PROMISE Academy was developed as an e-learning platform (www.promise-academy.eu). All presentations, talks, deliverables, documents, audio, video, case studies, workshops and results are collected on the platform. The access is opened to the interested public through registration. PROMISE Academy adds therefore a great value to the sustainability of the projects outcomes and results.
Best practise within PROMISE
For several decades mathematical modeling has been a major element in a drive for improved food safety and methods in veterinary epidemiology, predictive microbiology and process risk modeling which have all contributed to increased understanding and control of food borne hazards. Mose recently the quantification of food safety issues has changed significantly to include many more descriptors, such as molecular types, stronger resolutions in time and space, and high volume statistical information sources that represent consumer variables like consumption and choices. In turn mathematical models and computational methods are increasingly addressing these changes to provide more powerful tools that give system wide appreciations and food hazard scenarios that are relevant for distinct stakeholder groups. Mathematical modeling plays a major part in PROMISE and incorporates techniques that drive a transparent connection between quantitative surveillance and food safety across Europe and accessible representations of food safety information for distinct groups of stakeholders.
FAO and WHO recognized that Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) is one of the most important recent developments in food safety management and harmonization of approaches would greatly facilitate future understanding and development.
Knowledge gaps related to QMRA implementation into practice refer to
(i) difficulties in using the outputs of QMRA to develop specific food standards,
(ii) lack of interdisciplinary knowledge for a common understanding on the goals of the QMRA before starting to work,
(iii) lack of guidelines for interaction between risk managers and risk assessors,
(iv) lack of practical examples of the use of QMRA in the development of food safety measures and
(v) lack of terms that are easily understood by consumers or less technical readers, in order to achieve transparency and maintain credibility in food chain.
Barriers related to QMRA implementation in food supply chains refer to
(i) lack of competent personnel,
(ii) non-existence of multidisciplinary professionals,
(iii) existence of untrained decision makers and
(iv) lack of trainees commitment to training.
PROMISE prepared best practice in risk management and safety issues and provided relevant training opportunities. These opportunities included the workshops together with the food safety authorities, the researchers exchange programme and the foreseen e-learning platform.