The European Chair in Food Safety Microbiology is located within the Laboratory of Food Microbiology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. The European Chair is a part-time professorship for a fixed 5-y term period that has been installed by Wageningen University in 1997 upon request of an external sponsoring consortium. The first chairholder was prof.dr. Mike van Schothorst. Prof.dr. Leon Gorris occupied the chair from 2002-2012. The current Chair-holder is prof.dr. Han Joosten, affiliated with Nestlé, who provides 20% of his time in support of the Chair’s activities. The work of the Chair is sponsored by a consortium of five food companies (Danone, DSM Food Specialties, Mondeléz International, Nestlé and Unilever) that have subscribed to sharing food safety related knowledge widely as this aids to protect consumers on a non-competitive basis.
The mission of European Chair in Food Safety Microbiology is to develop and provide education, consultation and research in food safety microbiology which is relevant to students whose career paths will take them to work in food industry or work with food industry. The Chair aims to strengthen the quality of expertise and knowledge in food safety management in all relevant students (incl. academic students as well as non-academic students such as employees of industry or government) and researchers.
The Chair provides education and research as well as leadership in the following areas of expertise:
- Food safety management in food chains
- Good Practices and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
- Design of safe foods and implementation of design in operational practice
- Hygienic design of food plants and processing equipment
- (International) food safety management policy developments
- Developments in assessments of risks associated to foods
- Appreciation of concepts of acceptability and tolerability of risks in foods
- International Distance Learning Programme on Food Safety Management