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EFSA Calls for Molecular Typing for Foodborne Pathogens

19 December 2013

EU - The European Food Safety Authority is to use molecular typing methods to assess foodborne pathogens.

The methods are laboratory techniques, such as whole genome sequencing, that enable the classification and comparison of strains of disease-causing bacteria.

Now, EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) has reviewed the methods for typing the food-borne pathogens Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Listeria and Campylobacter, and has evaluated the effectiveness of these methods for:

  • Detecting and identifying food-borne outbreaks;
  • Estimating the contribution of various sources to food-borne illnesses;
  • Predicting which strains of food-borne pathogens may potentially cause epidemics.

EFSA’s BIOHAZ Panel recommends that public health and veterinary authorities strengthen their cooperation on the use of molecular typing for food-borne pathogens.

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