Production interventions

The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark collaborates with authorities and industry about intervention strategies to prevent foodborne pathogenic microorganisms from reaching the consumers through the food chain.


The main activities concern Campylobacter in poultry. Poultry is assumed to be the most important source of human Campylobacter infections. Intervention strategies towards Campylobacter have therefor primarily been directed against broiler chickens, for which there is an ongoing surveillance of Campylobacter both at farm level and at the abattoirs.

For many years the institute has researched in detection, quantification, prevalence, survival, and epidemiology and typing on Campylobacter. The aim of these activities has been to carry out risk assessments, point out sources and processes, and suggest intervention strategies.

On the basis of the research results, the National Food Institute gives consultancy to authorities and industry on Campylobacter in poultry.


Action plans for Salmonella have proved most efficient in poultry, where a thorough surveillance is in force in both the broiler and the table egg production.  Salmonella infected broiler flocks cannot be slaughtered or marketed in Denmark, and eggs from Salmonella infected layer flock cannot be marketed as table eggs.

Interventions against Salmonella in the pig production are based on a serological surveillance at herd level and a culture based surveillance of fresh meat at the slaughterhouses.

National Food Institute carries out research and surveillance on Salmonella in the entire food chain from farm to fork and gives consultancy to authorities and the industry on intervention strategies.


In recent years there has been several outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal infections with emesis and watery diarrhoea caused by norovirus. These outbreaks have most often been associated with consumption of raw berries, shellfish or salad, which has been contaminated with the virus. 

National FoodInstitute performs norovirus analyses on suspect food items in connection with outbreaks for source tracking purposes and eventual withdrawal of contaminated food batches from the market. The Institute also performs virus analyses in connection with food companies' own control programmes for imported raspberries, oysters, etc., and process water from food production.

Finally the institute carries out virus analyses on shellfish from Danish mussel beds as a part of the microbiological quality control of shellfish from different sites, before they are approved for marketing.


Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Copenhagen
Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
Dianova, Aarhus, Denmark
Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
Technological Institute of Denmark, Roskilde and Aarhus
University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Denmark


Flemming Bager
Head of Division
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 69 96