Ad Hoc Group on Vulnerable Groups meeting 14 February 2011

Outcome of the Ad Hoc Group on Vulnerable Groups meeting 14 February 2011.

Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the 11th meeting held on 7 September 2010 were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Discussion of risk assessment in relation to the risk from toxoplasma in the food chain
The aim of this meeting was to discuss the revised draft risk assessment on the risk from toxoplasma in the food chain and agree the revisions incorporating comments made at the September 2010 meeting. Members were reminded that Professor Dubey of the United States Agriculture Department (expert on issues relating to toxoplasma in the food chain) had replied to their request for advice on the survival of toxoplasma in food.

Members went through the draft report and identified areas that needed amendment, deletion or referencing:

Background and introduction - The secretariat was asked to revise this section to make clear why the group was asked to provide a risk assessment on toxoplasmosis in the food chain and when this issue was discussed at the full ACMSF. Other minor changes were suggested for this section.

The Organism, Human Toxoplasmosis, Human Cases, Burden of Disease and Sources of infection - Members discussed these sections including the summary and conclusions drafted. Some amendments were suggested for these sections and for the summary and conclusions.

Food Studies - Members briefly considered the sections under this heading. Although some suggested changes were highlighted, it was agreed to reconsider these sections together with the summary and conclusions at the next meeting.

Information papers
Members considered a paper which summarised guidance provided to consumers in different countries on toxoplasmosis and a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA which provided information on foodborne illnesses including toxoplasmosis in the United States. It was agreed to update the report to include relevant data from the CDC report.

Work programme
Members agreed to consider the sections on food studies, foodborne vs. other routes of infection and consumer advice at their next meeting focussing on the summary and conclusions, data gaps and recommendations. As the report is nearing completion only one more meeting of the group was anticipated.

Date of next meeting
The group’s next meeting will be held on 14 April 2011.

March 2011