In this project, which is part of the Research Programme on Nutrition, Foods and Health (ELVIRA) of the Academy of Finland, we are studying the most important food-borne bacteria that are a public health risk to the consumer, and we are tracing especially the sources of salmonella and EHEC infections.
The project consists of three parts:
1) a retrospective register research,
2) a prospective, progressive population based study,
3) risk assessment
In the retrospective register research the long-term effects of salmonella, campylobacter, shigella, yersinia and EHEC infections found since 1995 are assessed. Their significance as to later morbidity and mortality rates of the population is studied especially. In the prospective study the sources of salmonella and EHEC infections of domestic origin are traced in real time as a case control study. The characteristics of the bacterial strains isolated from humans, animals and food are studied very carefully and comparisons between the strains are made. In addition, more intensive sampling is carried out on suspect foods. In this way the most common sources and routes of infection of the bacteria can be assessed. Finally a new method based on a quantitative mathematical model will be developed to be used for the purpose of risk assessment. The model will combine the results achieved using new laboratory techniques, information from the register on infectious diseases, information on food-borne epidemics and food production, and assesses the exposure of the Finnish consumer to salmonella or EHEC infection transmitted through food in Finland and the magnitude of the risk salmonella or EHEC incurs to the consumer.
The information on the effect of food-borne infections in the near past gives the opportunity to assess the effect of new, preventive actions and the cost-benefit relationship. The results of the project can be used both in the industry, food inspection and in health care. The method to be developed in the study is also suited for the risk assessment of other food-borne pathogens.
food poisoning, salmonella, EHEC, risk assessment, assessment of exposure, risk estimate, salmonella bacteria
Responsible project leader
Research Professor Anja Siitonen, National Public Health Institute, Enteric Bacteria Laboratory
Person at Evira responsible for the project
Professor Sinikka Pelkonen, Veterinary Bacteriology Research Unit
Additional information on the project
Special researcher Pirkko Tuominen, Evira, Risk Assessment Research Unit
In cooperation with
THL National Institute for Health and Welfare
Year of commencement
Year of completion
Project is financed by
Academy of Finland;
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Evira's project code