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Lab Overview

The workload of “Food Safety Lab” (FSLab) is focused on the assessment and management of health risks associated to food chain. Most of the hazards (biological, physical or chemical) that poses a threat to food safety can be accessed through laboratorial search. The modern urbanized societies do not always become aware of the efforts that are needed undertake in the primary sector to achieve sustainable productions of milk, eggs, meat, fish products, shellfish and honey. These foodstuffs are indispensable components of a balanced, rational and nutritious diet, having a special relevance in the early years of each human individual development (infancy and youngness). To obtain those essential food products, it is crucial verify if the animals from which they are obtained, has been properly cared and healthy in the moment when foodstuffs are obtained from them. Only healthy livestock may allow obtaining safety food. Only healthy animals allow obtaining safe food (animal origin).

Main research activities of FSLab are: food bacteriology (sanitary and hygienic indicators); food mycology (deleterious and useful fungi); zoonotic agents (bacteria and parasites) and food chemical hazards (undesirable substances, residues and contaminants).

In recent times the team o FSLab has dedicated special research interests for “novel food” and its safety characteristics: namely biotic interactions of the useful microbiota with pathogens.

The FSLab facilities consist on the necessary equipment’s and conditions to work on basic food microbiology including some techniques of molecular biology.

The team of FSLab has collaborative working search with other external laboratories, namely: the Laboratory of Food Technology of ICBAS, U Porto, Laboratory of Food Technology of ESHTE (Estoril) and the Laboratory of Bacteriology of INIAV (Oeiras).


Selected Publications

Clemente, L., Correia, I., Themudo, P., Neto, I., Caniça, M., Bernardo, F. 2014. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella enterica isolates from healthy breeder and broiler flocks in Portugal. Vet. J. 200:276-281.

da Costa, P.M., Oliveira, M., Ramos, B., Bernardo, F. 2011. The impact of antimicrobial use in broiler chickens on growth performance and on the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli. Livestock Sci. 136: 262-269.

Almeida, I., Martins, H.M., Santos, S., Costa, J.M., Bernardo, F. 2011. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins in swine feed produced in PortugalMycotoxin Res. 27:177-181. 

Almeida, I.F.M., Martins, H.M.L., Santos, S.M.O., Freitas, M.S., da Costa, J.M.G.N., Bernardo, F.M.D. 2011. Mycobiota and aflatoxin B1 in feed for farmed Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)Toxins 3:163-171.

da Costa, P.M., Bica, A., Vaz-Pires, P., Bernardo, F. 2010 Changes in antimicrobial resistance among faecal enterococci isolated from growing broilers prophylactically medicated with three commercial antimicrobials. Prev. Vet. Med. 93:71-76.


Major external collaboration

Faculty of Veterinary of Universidad Autonoma of Barcelona -  Prof. Buenaventura Guamis Lopéz

Collaborations on genetic identification of microbes with relevance in fermented foods

Laboratório de Tecnologia de Alimentos do ICBAS, Universidade do Porto

Collaborations concerning the assessment to the ecological behaviors of fecal bacteria

Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril, Estoril

Collaboration on the microbial characterization of novel foods

Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (Laboratório de Bacteriologia Veterinária)

Works in the genetic determinants of antimicrobial pathogens found in food of animal origin