Food safety in Finland is currently at a good international level. For example, food produced in Finland does not contain chemicals to the level that would be hazardous for consumers and when compared internationally there are very few cases of salmonella causing food poisoning. However, decreasing the number of epidemics transmitted by food has not been as successful. In addition, food forgeries are detected more frequently than before. Janne Lundén, docent in food hygiene and veterinary specialist in environmental health, has been occupied with these kinds of food safety related issues all through his career. In January 2020, he will take up his new position as an associate professor of Risk management in food safety at the multidisciplinary Helsinki One Health research network in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki.
The continuous control of food safety and related risk management provide a kind of safety gate between the consumer and food production, which is typically noticed only in exceptional cases, like when a bag of frozen food contains something other than what the label claims. As a rule, food companies operating in Finland are highly compliant with food safety requirements and food control is usually more needed in cases where an entrepreneur does not know how to work in a safe manner or does not want to do so. Janne Lundén already familiarised himself with the challenges of food industry risk management in his doctoral thesis on the management of the listeria bacteria.
- Studying food control came naturally to me. When I was starting with this line of investigation, it was rarely studied internationally even though it is a key cornerstone in ensuring food safety, says Lundén.
One Health research is multidisciplinary since the research questions are often very complex and involve a number of disciplines. This also applies to risk management in food safety, which involves, for example, food hygiene, zoonotic diseases or diseases spreading between species, food production, food economy, legal praxis and human behaviour.
The HOH Helsinki One Health research network is based at the University of Helsinki and combines research into the health of both animals and humans. You can follow the HOH network on Twitter @HelsinkiOne, Facebook, and LinkedIn .
Janne Lundén, DVM, docent, phone +358 29 415 7148, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olli Peltoniemi, professor, director of the HOH network, vice-dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, email@example.com