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News from 01/14/2022

The presence of bacteria Listeria and Salmonella in food processing workshops poses several problems: these bacteria that are pathogenic for humans are capable of persisting for a long time in the environment and of resisting treatment with biocidal products. The Actia Fastypers Joint Technological Unit (UMT) has just been created by the Ministry of Agriculture for five years, in order to work on these issues. It brings together research teams (Anses, Inrae) and agro-industrial technical institutes (Actalia – dairy industry and the Pork Institute (IFIP)).

Salmonella and Listeria are two bacteria of animal origin, responsible for diseases in humans and transmitted by food. They can persist for several months in natural and agricultural environments, as well as in food processing workshops. In addition, some strains may be resistant to treatment with disinfection products. The work of the UMT Actia Fastypers aims on the one hand to understand the mechanisms by which these bacteria manage to adapt and persist in the external environment, including in agro-food workshops, and on the other hand to develop tools for characterize and detect these persistent bacterial strains. This work will be carried out jointly in the pork sector and the milk sector.

Two ANSES teams involved

Two ANSES units will be involved in the UMT: the Salmonella and Listeria unit of the Food Safety Laboratory and the Antibiotics, Biocides, Residues and Resistance Unit of the Fougères Laboratory. The first will provide its expertise in the genomic characterization of strains, in order to identify which genotype is associated with the characteristics studied (resistance to heavy metals, persistence in the environment, virulence, etc.). The second will study the adaptation and resistance of bacteria to the biocidal cleaning products used. This work will be linked to the joint technological network Chlean, devoted to the hygiene of equipment in the food industry, in which the two laboratories are already involved.

Development of detection tools

The goal of the UMT is to develop tools that can be used routinely by producers and industrialists in the food industry to identify the strains of bacteria present at the various stages of food production, from breeding to finished products. ” The aim is to optimize and simplify the tools available to us for research, in order to enable technical institutes to identify both the virulence and the persistence capacity of strains simply by harvesting the bacteria present on the surfaces to be using sampling swabs. », explains Sophie Roussel, co-host of the UMT and scientist of the food safety laboratory. These analyzes aim toadapt the cleaning and disinfection process the characteristics of the bacterial strains likely to be found in agro-industrial environments, for example by using the most effective disinfectant products against the bacteria present in these factories.

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