July 2

Health Canada

Today we have visited Health Canada, where the chief of the microbiology research division, Dr. Sabah Bidawid, welcomed us. Dr. Bidawid emphasized that he would like to collaborate with the WUR if possible as our university is famous for their food program. They already have close collaborations with the University of Ottawa; therefore also some people of CREM, the Centre of Research on Environmental Microbiology, were attending the meeting. The research of Health Canada focused on three topics: bacterial, parasitic and viral and their main aim was to develop policies and guidelines for detection and control. Therefore they examined various microorganisms (Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli, Enterobacter sakazakii, parasites and viruses) and used different techniques for detection (micro-arrays, MLST, flowcytometry, iCrop TheBug). Dr. Sattar of CREM explained some of the work they do next to their research, like academic teaching, consulting and advisory and organizing conferences and symposia. After the lunch and the presentations of Tjakko, Els, Heidy and Ida we toured around the facilities. The people explained with great enthusiasm about the work they were doing. We have exchanged some knowledge and have made new contacts for the future. After this very interesting visit, we had dinner in a cozy restaurant nearby and drove further to Montreal. (Ineke van Boeijen)