Assessment of Foodborne Pathogens in Aquaculture Value Chains and Evaluation of Risk Reduction Strategies in Bangladesh

Today, icddr,b, in collaboration with the Washington State University, USA, hosted a preliminary dissemination seminar titled, "Assessment of Foodborne Pathogens in Aquaculture Value Chains and Evaluation of Risk Reduction Strategies in Bangladesh," at the Sasakawa Auditorium. The study was supported by USAID under its Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish.

The seminar featured an in-depth exploration of the contamination of tilapia and pangas with various foodborne pathogens. The researchers found a significant level of microbial contamination, with distinct differences in wet markets and super shops. Although the fish were safe after cooking, researchers warned of cross-contamination risks. The findings call for simple measures, such as using safe water and soap at cut-up places in wet markets, to significantly reduce microbial contamination.

During the seminar, Dr Mohammed Badrul Amin, Associate Scientist at icddr,b and Principal Investigator (Bangladesh), presented the findings from surveillance and lab analysis. Dr Clare Narrod from the University of Maryland (UMD), USA, spoke about risk assessment modelling. Dr Salina Parveen, also from UMD, discussed the contribution to capacity building. Dr M. Aminul Islam from the Washington State University, USA, and the lead Principal Investigator of the study, shared insights on future directions.

The importance of the research is underscored by the baseline data on microbial contamination, highlighting the need for targeted intervention in aquaculture supply chains in Bangladesh. This study emphasises the potential health risks and the need for concerted action to improve food safety, especially for the most vulnerable.

The event was graced by Chief Guest Mr Khondokar Mahbubul Haque, Director General, Department of Fisheries, Government of Bangladesh (GoB), and Special Guest Dr M. Gulam Hussain, Asia Regional Coordinator, Fish Innovation Lab, USAID. The presence of representatives from various government agencies and institutes further enriched the discussions. Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, Executive Director at icddr,b, delivered the closing remarks and requested the researchers to explore whether they could engage committees of the wet market to reduce contamination.

Together, we are laying the foundation for a future where the fish we consume is safe, and the risks of contamination are reduced.

From icddr,b Facebook
Monday, August 21, 2023

Group photo of scientists and officials in front of the seminar poster.

Dr. Clare Narrod making a presentation in Bangladesh.

Photo of a speaker with the seminar audience.