The Unit of Food Microbiology teaches and conducts research on mechanisms that allow microorganisms to survive in the food system and cause disease in consumers. These include molecular biological processes of adaptation and persistence in livestock and food as well as systemic influences (e.g., in outbreak investigations). We develop and use state-of-the-art analytical and bioinformatic methods to identify and determine these factors.
Through exchange and research with commercial enterprises we are committed to transfer the findings into practice. They will help keep food safe and protect it from spoilage to achieve the challenging goals of the Sustainability Developmental Goals (SDG 2 Zero Hunger and others).
We consider collaboration with livestock science and the other two units in our institute to be fundamental. Findings are fed into risk assessments and made available to authorities to improve the efficiency of surveillance systems.
The Unit ‚Hygiene and Technology‘ primarily deals with the assessment of the microbiological and chemical risks associated with the production, processing and distribution of foods of animal origin ‘from farm to fork’ and with defining effective strategies to manage these. To achieve this we cooperate with scientists, and with governmental and in special cases with industrial stakeholders in Austria and abroad, both in research and education.
The interaction of food technological/chemical and hygiene parameters of foods of animal origin and how these interactions affect the safety and quality of these foods is our particular focus.
Our research and teaching focus on the spread and control of animal diseases, zoonoses and their economic impact. Including the development of epidemic models for the spread mosquito-borne diseases such as bluetongue, West Nile fever, blackbird dying, as well as the effect of global climate change on these diseases.
Further emphasis is on classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease and rabies.
Our partners include the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the Christian-Doppler Laboratory for Molecularbiological Food Analysis, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), as well as business companies.