Towards transparent and consistent exchange of knowledge for improved microbiological food safety
Predictive microbial modelling and quantitative microbiological risk assessment, two important and complementary areas within the food safety community, are generating a variety of scientific knowledge (experimental data and mathematical models) and resources (databases and software tools) for the exploitation of this knowledge. However, the application and reusability of this knowledge is still hampered as the access to this knowledge and the exchange of information between databases and software tools are currently difficult and time consuming. To facilitate transparent and consistent knowledge access and exchange new tools and community resources are needed. These resources will promote the creation of a public microbiological food safety knowledge repository encompassing available data and models. However, essential components are currently missing, such as open data formats supported by different software tools and consistent rules for knowledge annotation. The knowledge repository would be a user friendly tool to benefit different users within the microbiological food safety community, especially users like risk assessors and managers, model developers and research scientists working in the private sector (e.g. food industries, consultancy companies), research institutes or food authorities.