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Biological Safety

Chair: Dr Geraldine Duffy, Teagasc


  • Dr Declan Bolton, Teagasc
  • Dr Michael Callanan, Munster Technological University
  • Prof. Theo De Waal, University College Dublin
  • Ms Anne Dwan, Health Service Executive
  • Prof. Séamus Fanning, University College Dublin
  • Prof. Cormac Gahan, University College Cork
  • Dr Patricia Garvey, Health Protection Surveillance Centre
  • Dr Montserrat Gutierriez, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Dr Sinead Keaveney, Marine Institute
  • Prof Noel McCarthy, Trinity College Dublin
  • Prof. Grace Mulcahy, University College Dublin
  • Dr Lois O’Connor, Health Service Executive
  • Dr Helen O’Shea, Munster Technological University
  • Prof. Fiona Walsh, Maynooth University

Terms of Reference for the Biological Safety Subcommittee 2021-2025

The Subcommittee operates under the aegis of the Scientific Committee of the FSAI with the following functions:

  1. To support the Scientific Committee by producing draft scientific reports related to the biological safety of foods, specifically:

(a) Risks to public health arising from exposure to microorganisms (parasites, bacteria, viruses) and other biological agents (including TSE-related agents) in food. 

(b) Risks to public health arising from exposure to microbial toxins and biogenic amines resulting from microbial growth in food. 

(c) Risk management options related to the biological safety of food, where requested. 

(d) The content and effectiveness of national surveillance and official monitoring of foodstuffs for micro-organisms.

(e) Emerging risks as defined by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). 

(f)  Other biological safety matters of interest to FSAI. 

  1. To advise the Scientific Committee on the scientific content of work carried out by other organisations including:

(a) EFSA 

(b) European Commission 

(c) WHO/FAO biological safety committees 

(d) Other food agencies 

(e) Academic institutions. 

  1. To peer-review scientific reports from the FSAI and provide opinions on legislative matters, as requested. 
  2. To advise the Scientific Committee on research gaps and needs in the area of biological hazards in food. 
  3. To undertake any other such work or assessments in the area of biological hazards in food as proposed by the Subcommittee, subject to approval from the Scientific Committee.