Proactive control of food safety in the food industry

01 April 2021 → 31 March 2024
Regional and community funding: IWT/VLAIO
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Food microbiology
    • Food sciences and (bio)technology not elsewhere classified
    • Agricultural, veterinary and food sciences not elsewhere classified
food safety quality management microbiological validation
Project description

Consumers and food producers are again more alert to (microbiological) food safety and hygiene of high-quality food products. This is reinforced by the developments regarding, among other things, whole genome sequencing, which poses new challenges for quality assurance regarding microbiological safety. Food companies can already achieve a great deal with technology in guaranteeing quality and food safety. Recently, the attention for the human factor in the monitoring of food safety and the development (or strengthening) of the food safety culture in an organization, among others from the Codex Alimentarius and GFSI standards, has been pushed forward to drastically improve the food safety status of the food industry, and from a different angle.

With Q-DNA, the project consortium wishes to take food safety management in the Flemish food industry to the next level. By putting the proactive and preventive approach to food safety at the center today through a thorough validation of production equipment and the anchoring of a food safety culture in the DNA of the entire organization, and thus in the minds of all employees, within a food company (Q-DNA) will to give the food industry a clear lead over (foreign) competition again. Q-DNA aims to significantly increase the food safety status of food companies by focusing on 2 complementary pillars, namely technology and work organization, and will develop state-of-the-art tools and methods that a food company can implement:

Pillar 1: process validation methods to ensure that the actual production process and the production equipment used reduce sufficient food safety risks and the company produces safe and high-quality food (process validation) (prof. Frank Devlieghere)

Pillar 2: management tools to ensure a positive food safety culture across all layers and departments of the company. create (food safety culture) (Prof. Liesbeth Jacxsens and Peter Vlerick)