Food manufacturers have been given practical and scientific advice by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on reducing the exposure of their customers to food borne disease.

In supporting the European Commission strategy of setting reduction targets for salmonella in poultry meat production, EFSA identified processing plants as having the highest rates of contamination, with those also making animal feed causing problems while being victims, as “contaminated animal feed” introduced salmonella into livestock and food. On listeriosis, EFSA wants food businesses to improve manufacturing, handling and hygiene practices, notably by using HACCP hazard control point systems. There was a particular problem regarding ready-to-eat (RTE) products, and EFSA called for vulnerable consumers – such as the young and pregnant women to be given special warnings about “the consumption of certain RTE food products”.

The agency also wants reforms to the EU’s monitoring and reporting of zoonoses involving manufacturers, such as collecting data on the origin of outbreak-tainted food.