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New publication

08 March 2019

A new article with the contribution of SAFOSO authors has been published. In the study, the datasets utilised in the SPARE project ('Spatial risk assessment framework for assessing exotic disease incursion and spread through Europe') project are described and discussed in terms of key criteria: accessibility, availability, completeness, consistency and quality. A striking issue from this assessment is the need for enhanced data sharing specifically with regards to data on illegal seizures, arthropod vector/wildlife abundance, intra-country livestock movement and national animal disease surveillance. The paper is available in Microbial Risk Analysis journal:

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EFFORT International Conference: How to control antimicrobial resistance in the food chain

29 November 2018

The EFFORT Project (2013-2018) ended last November with the EFFORT International Conference (26th-28th November, Utrecht).  During this conference, all EFFORT results were jointly presented with an overview about the current available tools to support risk management. Furthermore, a policy round table in which the projects results were aimed to be translated into Policy and Practice took place the last day ( ). Sixteen deliverables describing the EFFORT project work achievements will be submitted to the EC in the next months and a public version of these documents will be available on the EFFORT public website ( SAFOSO was part of the organization and scientific committee and also presented the results on some of the risk assessment activities it has been involved.

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Assuring food safety in a globalised world – are we ready?

17 November 2018

SAFOSO Director Katharina Stärk was honoured to be one of the plenary speakers at ISVEE15, Chiang Mai, Thailand, in early November 2018. The title of her presentation was “Assuring food safety in a globalised world – are we ready?” Food chains are becoming more complex due to the diversity and location of actors involved and their trans-boundary and trans-continental nature. The benefits of such food systems also come at the cost of increased risks. The latter are not limited to biological and chemical hazards and their emergence, spread and management. Complex food systems also harbour other challenges such as traceability, food scares, governance and fair distribution of profit. While surveillance, risk assessment and other epidemiological approaches can provide useful evidence to facilitate the functioning of global food systems, other aspects are currently not well integrated. As a consequence, the vulnerability of food markets is increasing. In the future, more integrated and novel strategies are needed to assure not only the safety but also the resilience of global food systems and thus – ultimately – consumer trust.

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The 3rd Annual Conference of the Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Establishment of a risk-based food safety control system in the dairy value chain in Ukraine”

05 October 2018

On 3 – 4 October 2018, about 180 participants from the public and private dairy sector from across Ukraine and a delegation from the Moldovan dairy sector attended the 3rd Annual Project Conference. The main goal of the conference was to further raise awareness of stakeholders involved in the Ukrainian dairy sector about the risk-based food safety control system and the importance of using best practices for the production of safe dairy products. The conference was also a platform for the participants to exchange information and discuss current topics of the dairy sector. The project conference was a full success again. Proceedings (in English and Ukrainian) and selected presentations are available on the project website:

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Evaluation of GF-TAD

01 October 2018

The Global Framework for Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs), a joint activity of FAO and OIE, was recently evaluated. The evaluation was led by SAFOSO team member Katharina Stärk. The main findings indicate that the GF-TADs continues to be of high relevance, but its sustainability needs to be increased to assure future impact in training, communication and leadership. The evaluation report is available here.

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One Health evaluation of a Danish research centre UC-CARE

21 August 2018

As part of the NEOH project, SAFOSO completed and published the evaluation of the University of Copenhagen Research Centre for Control of Antibiotic Resistance (UC-CARE), a 4-year research consortium in Denmark. The evaluation followed the framework developed by NEOH and covered the different aspects of One Health, assessing operations, supporting infrastructures and outcomes of UC-CARE. The evaluation pointed out that a more integrated project organization, more stakeholder involvement and a dedicated OH coordinator would have allowed for more knowledge exchange, potentially leading to a higher societal impact.

The paper is available here.


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SAFOSO and aquaculture

31 May 2018

Aquaculture around the world is expanding rapidly and is increasingly contributing to fill the global demand for animal protein. With increasing production however, also challenges in aquaculture production become more prominent. Diseases and trade-relevant hazards such as antibiotic resistance and residues are among these challenges. Thanks to its broad skills base - including risk assessment, surveillance design and evaluation - SAFOSO is well positioned to offer competent and tailored advice to the aquaculture sector. For example, SAFOSO recently published an article on the use of modern surveillance tools, including molecular and genomic data, to inform decisions taken by private and public health managers. The article is available here.

In this context, SAFOSO is happy to announce its expanding competency in aquaculture through our new associate Thomas Janssens. Thomas has been working in the aquaculture sector in several countries since 2002, and he is currently head of aquaculture research at Bern University of Applied Research. More information about Thomas is available here. We welcome Thomas as our associate and are looking forward to productive collaboration.

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Multi-criteria pathogen prioritisation

25 April 2018

As part of the SPARE project (, SAFOSO co-authored a paper recently published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine in which a multi-criteria pathogen prioritisation method is applied to selecting the most appropriate case studies for a generic risk assessment framework. The method is robust and flexible and can fulfil different needs.  A web-based tool has been developed using the RStudio shiny apps software.

The paper is available here:
Using multi-criteria risk ranking methodology to select case studies for a generic risk assessment framework for exotic disease incursion and spread through Europe

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