Paul Cook, Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK

Paul Cook is currently Head of the Microbiological Risk Assessment Branch in the Science, Evidence and Research Division of the Food Standards Agency in the UK where he has worked since 2000. The branch is closely involved with the Agency’s monitoring of foodborne disease, the assessment of microbiological food incidents and outbreaks, zoonoses, foodborne viruses and antimicrobial resistance in the food chain. The branch also provides the secretariat for the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food. 


Following a Ph.D and post doc in environmental microbiology Paul joined the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Reading, UK in 1987 where he was a  research fellow in food microbiology. A move to the UK Department of Health in 1993 provided the opportunity for Paul to manage the Department’s research and surveillance on microbiological food safety including the first major study of infectious intestinal disease (IID) in England.


Internationally Paul has attended the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene since 2004. He has been an invited expert for various working groups/meetings of EU Scientific Committees, WHO/FAO consultations and the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).  From 2012-2015 he was a member of the EFSA panel on Biological Hazards.


In relation to Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Paul has a particular interest in how this can be used to identify and investigate foodborne outbreaks, antimicrobial resistance and the potential of WGS for advancing microbiological risk assessment.
25 APRIL 2024