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Working Group 1: Food Crisis Management

WG Leader: Rickard Knutsson (SVA, Sweden)

Members: Dario de Medici, ISS, Italy; Martino Barbanera, COOP, Italy; Christine Jewan, TTZ, Germany; Bert Pöpping, Carmen Diaz Amigo, Eurofins, Germany.

Main gaps in research identified:

Interoperability and early warning; Weak signals identification and rapid risk assessment; Diagnostic capabilities of unkowns threats; Emergency response Validation; Real-time crisis communication; Forensic awareness of metohds applied to food crisis.

Main topics for future Research:

Bioforensic methods (to be used for illegal trading of food, agroforensic methods, Microbill forensics, Veterinary forensics); tools for early warning to prevent food crisis; tools for response to food crisis, emergency Validation (diagnostic Tools for Lab networks (sampling/detection minimum standards); tools for crisis communication

The group plans to publish an article as follows in order to disseminate the groups results:

Title: Food Crisis Management; Authors: Knutsson R, Kuchta T, Barbanera M, Pöpping B, De Medici D. Manuscript drafted for submission

Submitted: will be submitted to the Journal Food Policy after completion of comments. Planned in August 2014.

The article’s essential statements: A crisis in the food chain may have different impact depending on what type of incident it is. It can be a crisis after a microbiological, chemical, radiological and physical incident. It can also be fraud, threats or a deliberate attack in the food chain. Preparedness must be built for all types of food crises a different food crisis – a so called all hazard approach which has been stated in the green book on bioprepreadness from the EC, but is very costly and complicated. On the other side if a crisis takes place in the food chain such as a large outbreak it can be extremely costly for the society. The Foot and mouth diseases (FMD) outbreak in UK 2001 cost the society 3,125 million ( £ ) and 4,000 million ( £ ) in direct and indirect costs. However, previous food crisis incidents, such as the mad cow disease (BSE) crisis, other disease outbreaks such as the EHEC outbreak in 2011, and other crisis such as the horse meat scandal, have all had an impact on EU consumers and EU Member States. As a result someone has to take the accountability of these crises. The accountability of these crises has had various bodies. There are many lessons to be learned from these food crises and a general problem is that these crises are of a complex nature involving many organizations at the same time need to interact. This requires well prepared plan but also well adapted food crisis management tools in order to prevent and responds to a major food crisis involving many organization. The paper outline early warning systems, rapid detection and emergency response validation and rapid crisis communication. Further research concerning food crisis management is needed.