In case of contamination in the food chain, fast action is required in order to reduce the numbers of affected people. In such situations, being able to predict the fate of agents in foods would help risk assessors and decision makers in assessing the potential effects of a specific contamination event and thus enable them to deduce the appropriate mitigation measures. One efficient strategy supporting this is using model based simulations. However, application in crisis situations requires ready-to-use and easy-to-adapt models to be available from the so-called food safety knowledge bases. Here, we illustrate this concept and its benefits by applying the modular open source software tools PMM-Lab and FoodProcess-Lab. As a fictitious sample scenario, an intentional ricin contamination at a beef salami production facility was modelled. Predictive models describing the inactivation of ricin were reviewed, relevant models were implemented with PMM-Lab, and simulations on residual toxin amounts in the final product were performed with FoodProcess-Lab. Due to the generic and modular modelling concept implemented in these tools, they can be applied to simulate virtually any food safety contamination scenario. Apart from the application in crisis situations, the food safety knowledge base concept will also be useful in food quality and safety investigations.
Falenski, A., Weiser, A. A., Thöns, C., Appel, B., Käsbohrer, A., & Filter, M. (2015). Towards a food safety knowledge base applicable in crisis situations and beyond. BioMed Research International, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/830809