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Update on IRMM-359 CRM for staphylococcal enterotoxins

Published on 05/03/2019

We are pleased to transmit you an update from EC/JRC regarding the 3 Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) on SEA in cheese powder (IRMM-359a-c). Their certificates have now been updated with ELISA-based quantitative values derived from a collaboration with our laboratory, in particular. These values have been included in the section "additional material information" of the certificates. A short reference to this work was added to the certification report (addendum in page 5). Please see: This information is important for the ones of you using these CRMs as well as for the national networks you coordinate.

EN ISO 19020 officially replaces ESM v5 for Enterotoxin detection

Published on 12/02/2019

We are pleased to announce you that Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/229 of 7 February 2019, amending EC Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, has been published on 8 February 2019. It modifies in particular: Article 5 on the conditions of validation/certification of alternative methods; Reference methods in Annex II further to the EC Mandate to CEN. In particular, in criterion 1.21, the method to detect staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE) in dairy products: the “European screening method of the CRL for coagulase positive staphylococci” is replaced by the Standard EN ISO 19020. As specified in Article 3 of this amendment, this Regulation shall enter into force on 28 February 2019. (the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on 8 February 2019).

Meeting of EURLs Drafting Group for a guidance document on PTs organised by NRLs

Published on 07/02/2019

Bertrand LOMBARD organised on 13 December the 2nd web-meeting of a working group preparing a guidance document on the organisation of proficiency tests (PTs) by NRLs for the national networks of official laboratories they coordinate. This EURLs working group is composed of representatives from EURLs Salmonella, Campylobacter, VTEC, Listeria monocytogenes and Coagulase Positive Staphylococci, The draft is based on a EURL Listeria monocytogenes document dealing with partial outsourcing of PTs organised by NRLs. The scope of the document being drafted is now wider. This document should be finalised in 2019 and will be circulated to the respective NRL networks for consultation.

Joint scientific conference on Food borne pathogens & WGS 26-28 March 2019

Published on 05/02/2019

This Joint scientific Conference on Foodborne pathogens and whole Genome Sequencing is organised in Paris from Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 March by Anses (France) / BfR (Germany) / DTU Food (Denmark) / NIFDS (South Korea).   Fuelled by the reduction in the cost of sequencing and the exceptionally rapid development of algorithmic and calculation resources, the medical, agronomic and food sectors have been shaken by the genomic revolution. At the initiative of four national institutions for food safety and risk assessment in France, Denmark, Germany, and South Korea, this conference will bring together researchers, risk assessors and risk managers for an update on the impact on food safety that whole genome sequencing (WGS) approaches already have, and will continue to have in the near future. The scientific presentations will cover recent developments in the data-based WGS methods used in outbreak detection, investigation and epidemiological surveillance. The bioinformatics methods and platforms used to characterise foodborne pathogens and interpret phenotypic variations (e.g. virulence, antimicrobial resistance and persistence) will be presented, while refinement of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) models with the implementation of new comprehensive genomic data will be discussed. In addition, the potential of metagenomics in the food safety field, with a special focus on virology, will also be addressed. A round table will close the meeting with representatives of major international public health institutions to discuss initiatives for the promotion of genomic approaches. Participation in the meeting is free of charge but requires prior registration. Link provided hereafter: website, programme and registration.

Training session on ESM and EN ISO19020

Published on 24/01/2019

Yacine NIA and Isabelle MUTEL organised a training session held in our permises in Maisons-Alfort (FR) on 11-12 December 2018. This training session was dedicated to the detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins according to the European Screening method and the new EN ISO 19020. NRLs Participants : Ivana IVANOVIC - Agroscope of Switzerland; Thorsten BLUME - SpiezLab of Switzerland; Marina DOUKA - Department of Food Hygiene of Athens of Greece.

22nd meeting of WG 3 on Method validation

Published on 24/01/2019

Bertrand LOMBARD participated virtually (teleconference) to a part of the last meeting of the Working Group 3 on method validation of the subcommitte ISO/TC 34/SC 9 “Food products-Microbiology”. It took place on 4-6 December 2018 at Sciensano (BE-NRL for Listeria monocytogenes & coagulase positive staphylococci, Brussels). WG 3 is in charge of developing the series EN ISO 16140 on method validation/verification in food chain microbiology. This meeting was mainly dedicated to the preparation of the final vote, further to the ISO/DIS vote and CEN Enquiry, on the 4 following parts: Part 3: method verification; Part 4: method validation in a single laboratory; Part 5: factorial interlaboratory validation for non-proprietary methods; Part 6: validation of alternative (proprietary) methods for microbiological confirmation and typing procedures. The final votes are expected to be launched by mid-2019. B. Lombard ensured a liaison with WG 2 which provides a statistical expertise to prepare these standards.

Training session of the AT-NRL on ESM for SE detection

Published on 18/01/2019

On 19 and 20 September 2018, Yacine NIA organised at the NRL a training session at AGES, the Autrian NRL for CPS in Graz. This training session was dedicated to the detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins according to the European Screening method. Sigrid Fleck, Kornelia Voetsch, Kathrin Hauser, Andrea Kormann-Klement took part to the practical session.

Technical meeting on confirmatory ELISA with DE-NRL

Published on 18/01/2019

Yacine NIA from EURL CPS and Kati MIELKE from BfR (DE NRL) organised on 6th September a technical meeting on the confirmatory ELISA for Staphylococcal Enterotoxins in food matrices.

EFSA-ECDC 2017 Annual Report

Published on 20/12/2018

EFSA and ECDC have just published the European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2017: In the chapter on food-borne outbreaks (Chapter 16, p. 209-250), data on FBOs due to bacterial toxins, including staphylococcal enterotoxins, can be found. In addition, a sub-chapter (17.2, p. 251-252) is dedicated to staphylococcal enterotoxins, being a microbiological contaminant covered by a food safety criterion in EC Regulation 2073/2005.

Workshop of the Italian NRL for Official Control Italian Laboratories in Torino (15 November)

Published on 19/12/2018

Déborah MERDA was invited by the Italian NRL, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte (IZSTo), to attend its annual workshop for their National official control laboratories (OCL). The Italian NRL presented different PTs performed along 2018. The OCL presented their recent staphylococcal food poisoning outbreaks and their research project. The purpose of the attendance of Déborah MERDA was to present the EURL for CPS work on WGS and real time PCR method. These 2 methods aroused enthousiasm among the laboratories, some were even willing to implement them in their laboratory.