Viruses, nanomaterials and MALDI-TOF on ANSES agenda

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

ANSES food safety priorities in 2016
Foodborne viruses, yeasts and moulds, nanomaterials and development of MALDI-TOF are focus areas for the French food safety authority this year.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) revealed the plan for 2016 in a policy orientation document​.  

Developing the use of MALDI-TOF is for typing of strains collected at various stages in the pig and poultry production process to better characterise and trace them.

It will strengthen the contribution to epidemiological surveillance at national and European level (for the centralised database of molecular data concerning Listeria monocytogenesrun by EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).

Chemical risks

In terms of chemical risks in food it will look at metallic trace elements and some persistent organic pollutants found in game; on cadmium and contribution of agricultural inputs and on toxic fungi.

ANSES said it will do an epidemiology project based on findings of the CIMAP on identification of sources of food diseases, to better document and understand the causes of foodborne illnesses, and of foodborne illness outbreaks.

It added it will look at foodborne viruses (under a research and development agreement) and work has been requested on food yeasts and moulds.

The agency will continue to develop genomics and competence in bioinformatics for characterisation of pathogens.

Nanomaterials focus

Work on nanomaterials will follow three themes, said ANSES.

One being the continued management of the national declaration web portal, including using data to publish an annual report, the second seeing the agency being responsible for evaluating titanium dioxide in REACH, as part of the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) and the third seeing it assess the risks associated with the use of nanomaterials in food production.

The agency is also putting the spotlight on risks associated with joint health supplements, energy drinks and spirulina​.

Last year, the director general of ANSES launched World Health Day with Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, from the Rungis International Food Market.

The agency also signed a cooperation agreement with its Chinese counterpart (CFSA), to boost co-operation on standards and methods of surveillance in food safety.

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