The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has called for research and tenders for poultry assessment, shellfish and E.coli shedding in the last week.
The research call for poultry is to provide a better understanding of public health risks associated with partially eviscerated (effilé) poultry production.
The FSA Scotland appeal is to review the current evidence for the use of indicator shellfish species. This will be for biotoxin and chemical contaminants monitoring in Scottish shellfish production areas.
The agency also is inviting tenders to improve the understanding of the factors which lead to E.coli O157 shedding by cattle and intervention strategies for on-farm control.
The results of the poultry call will help inform decisions related to risk management interventions. They will also support a case for the development of policy, both in relation to the FBO controls over this type of production and the type and level of official controls required.
Partially eviscerated poultry is where the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, crop (a muscular pouch near the throat), proventriculus (part of the digestive system) and gizzard have been left inside the body.
Regulation (EC) 853/2004 allows production of effilé poultry, provided it is authorised by the competent authority but the UK has little experience of effilé poultry production, although trials have taken place in a few UK plants, said the FSA.
It is thought that the project will take a maximum of eight to nine months, with a final report submitted to the agency by the end of April 2014.
The results of the shellfish tender will inform future monitoring regimes, to ensure that public health is not compromised from the consumption of any shellfish species harvested from classified harvesting areas.
The project is expected to take a maximum of six months, with a final report submitted to the agency no later than the end of February 2014.
The research invitation around E.coli comes after a workshop held by the FSA in November 2011, concluding further studies were needed to address knowledge gaps in relation to understanding of E.coli O157 supershedding by cattle and how this pathogen can be controlled on UK farms.
The agency said a recent report highlighted that on-farm interventions could help to reduce the public risks associated with E.coli O157 in the UK.