Tell me a little bit about yourself, and your professional background?

I am a food microbiologist. I have worked for a long time on foodborn pathogens in relation to food processing and storage, for instance Listeria monocytogenes in fresh produce and fresh-cut produce or pathogenic spore forming bacteria as Bacillus cereus in cooked chilled foods.

What is your role in Safeconsume?

I am a participant of WP1 that aims at the characterization of consumers’ behaviours and barriers in relation to food safety. I am the microbiogist working in the French team with social scientists. I also have a small participation in WP6 to provide some microbiology and food safety inputs for the development of materials for educators.

What do you think will be the most important results from Safeconsume?

Understanding consumer’s behaviour with regards to food, its perception of food safety risks and how he manage it, is for me the most important results. It is a perequisite for the development of any strategies to reduce foodborne illnesses. I also liked very much the development of the education materials for educators and students, I believe this will be a fantastic set of educational supports for schools.

What is your best advice to consumer on how to reduce the risks of food borne illness?

I do not think there is one best advice. This depends so much on the ways of eating and preparing foods of the consumers. If I should give one advice, I would say to read carefully the recommendations from their national food safety agencies and Safeconsume website.

What about hygiene and food safety in a time of corona?

Be even more careful!!! Do not get sick, foodborne illnesses frequently require hospitalization. Hospital are very busy at the moment.

How did Sars-CoV-2 pandemic affected your activity?

Not too badly, I work from home. Some meeting have been cancelled, postponed or organized as visioconference. Bench work and experiments can be postponed for a few weeks, this is manageable. Fortunately the field work in Safeconsume with the consumers visits and interviews was finished long before the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic and the lockdown. This would have been a catastrophe!

What do you think is the first and most important thing that one can do to protect oneself from pathogenic bacteria in these times and not only?

There is no one most important thing, all consumers are not at risk from the same pathogens or the same bad practices, this really depends on their habits, on what they eat. In France many consumers like raw mince meat. This clearly represent a risk as raw meat can carry pathogenic bacteria. By these times of pandemic it is wiser to cook meat properly.