The rearing of healthy European livestock is highly dependent on the provision of high quality and safe feeds. This in turn has a major impact on the safety of the entire animal based food chain. The concept of Q-SAFFE is to deliver better, faster and economically viable means of ensuring the quality and safety of animal feeds in Europe. The Q-SAFFE consortium is composed of academics and government scientists with substantial experience in animal feed research along with industrial companies, large and small, dedicated to supplying and producing higher quality and safer animal feeds. Together, their vision is an integrated approach to the reduction and management of chemical and microbiological contamination in animal feeds. This research project will provide better ways of preventing contamination and fraud, identifying and assessing new risks and providing scientific evidence of the risks of transfer of microbiological and chemical contaminants from feed to food.
Strategies for early quality and safety assurance in the feed chain will be developed using existing testing methods and emerging technologies such as fingerprinting to deliver a comprehensive analytical strategy for monitoring at ports, feedmills and labs. The traceability and authenticity of feed materials will be improved by determining which tests, conventional and fingerprinting, will be most useful in tracing origins of feed materials including those derived from biofuel co-products. Emerging chemical and microbiological risks will be identified from new types and sources of animal feed materials and new production processes. These will direct the development of rapid, low cost screening tests to enable high quality and safety standards to be met. The transfer of chemical contaminants such as melamine and dioxins and micro-organisms (Salmonella spp, Listeria monocytogenes) from feed to food will be studied using pharmacokinetic models and animal studies to provide risk assessments for regulators.