The federal VTEC network was established jointly by Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada to identify key national challenges, develop knowledge integration, and deliver the science needs supporting Canada's food safety objectives. Laboratory scientists came together to work as a cohesive team on a common set of goals and objectives which include:

  • Developing methods for VTEC detection, including non-O157 strains;
  • Investigating the ecology of the VTEC in food production;
  • Building baseline data on VTEC and carry out a risk assessment; and to
  • Use this network as a pilot project to learn how to better interact and collaborate to solve national food safety issues.

The network has developed a VTEC detection method which will soon be published in Health Canada's Compendium of Analytical Methods. In addition VTEC isolates have been collected and will be fully characterized for the purpose of building a baseline for VTEC. An international workshop was held in December of 2010 to share current information and gain a better understanding of VTEC. For further information contact; Dr. Alex Gill. alex.gill@hc-sc.gc.ca

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