Food Safety Research Consortium (FSRC), a multi-disciplinary collaboration among seven US universities and research institutions, announces an international conference organized jointly with MED-VET-NET, the EU Network of Excellence for zoonoses and foodborne disease research. The conference, titled “Priority Setting of Foodborne and Zoonotic Pathogens,” is aimed at promoting progress in food safety priority setting by identifying key scientific issues and opportunities and by fostering international scientific collaboration.

The conference will address:
-the need for and approaches to food safety priority setting
-incidence and outcomes of gastro-enteritis and other non-enteric foodborne disease
-attribution of foodborne illness to sources of exposure
-methods to integrate data on incidence of morbidity and mortality, including economic approaches and HRQL (Health Related Quality of Life) approaches
-data availability for incidence estimates, food attribution, and integrated health measures
-differences in estimates, methods, and data sources across countries
-data integration issues
-emerging infections
-future research and data needs
-possibilities for international collaboration
The conference is intended to address broad issues relevant across all infectious foodborne agents in all foods, thus including exposure to bacteria and bacterial toxins, viruses, parasites, and prions through the consumption of meat, eggs, dairy, seafood, and produce. The conference will address the scientific and technical issues with risk-based prioritization, and will thus focus on methods and data. The conference is also intended to raise awareness of the process of risk-based priority setting for food safety, with the explicit aim to explore the international differences in approaches and identify possible opportunities for future collaboration.
The three day conference will include 10 sessions with presenters, panelists, and attendees from the US and Europe, as well as representatives from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the WHO, and elsewhere. Though attendence is expected to be limited to around 100 people due to the technical nature of discussions, the conference is open to anyone actively involved with food safety research or policy, including those in academia, government, and public interest organizations.