Anett Winkler

Food borne Pathogens: Re-emerging Factors and potential Controls

Anett Winkler1

1Cargill, Duesseldorf, Germany

Within the last decade our understanding of the behavior of food borne pathogens has significantly increased. That is linked to several factors which include new genomic technologies like NGS being widely available and more affordable, cooperation and data exchange not only between EU countries, but also between continents, and much more in-depth root cause analyses of outbreak situations.

So far the kind of food-borne pathogens did not change significantly, however new vehicles (foods) for their transmission became (and still become) known within the last decades. That comes along with changes in consumer preferences, like vegetarian or vegan choices, and demographic distributions looking at an elderly population. New foods / ingredients (like insects) can pose challenges towards managing microbiological food safety due to potential unknown risks to be controlled.

Research in outbreak situations led to new insights into their behavior in the food processing environment, where some might persist undetected over years and / or develop adaptations towards unfavorable conditions leading to persistence against certain treatments. Such research has only been possible by employing genomic methods and comparing / trending data over years.

Considering all aspects the presentation aims to provide the audience with an overview of current knowledge on food-borne pathogens and how that knowledge helps us to control them and prevent outbreaks.


Anett Winkler joined Kraft Jacobs Suchard in December 1998 to head up the research microbiology laboratory in Munich. Later on Anett concentrated on chocolate, biscuits and other low moisture foods including supplier developments and approvals. She also consolidated the scientific basis for microbiological process controls in low moisture foods by performing validation studies for nut & cocoa processing. Following a regional role for Microbiology in the Eastern European, Middle East & African Region she was globally designing food safety programs, rolling out training modules related to food safety and further supporting supplier development. Anett was also the global expert for thermal processing within Mondelez International.

In October 2017 Anett moved to a new position as “EMEA Food Safety Advisor” at Cargill, where she is supporting all Cargill businesses in that region (Europe / Middle East / Africa) for microbiological / food safety related topics. Anett is active in EHEDG (Chair of water management group), in ILSI Europe (Chair of Microbiology Food Safety TF), and a member of ICMSF. Within Germany she is also co-editor of the Handbook on Food Hygiene.