Charlie Van Paepeghem

Scientific Researcher

charlie Van PaepeghemCharlie’s research focusses on the following aspects: Foodborne Pathogens, Concern Assessment, Risk Perceptions, Acceptable Microbial Risks and Proactive Food Safety Communication.

Charlie achieved his master’s degree in bioscience engineering in July 2022. He graduated in Food Sciences and Nutrition with Summa cum laude (885/1000). During his education, he followed elective courses that dealt with microbial food safety, sustainability, and food quality.

In his master’s dissertation, which was performed in the research group NutriFOODchem of prof. dr. ir. Bruno De Meulenaer, he studied the impact of cold plasma treatments on lipid oxidation in methylated oil matrices (18/20). He also participated in “De Vlaamse Scriptieprijs” with this master’s dissertation.

In September 2022, he joined the FMFP research group as a Scientific Researcher.

Charlie is involved in different projects of the FMFP research unit.
He investigates to what extent plant-based ready-to-eat products, such as vegetarian and vegan sandwich fillings, pose a human health risk for Listeria monocytogenes, and how this risk compares to the risk that traditional ready-to-eat products, such as deli meats, soft cheeses, and cold-smoked fish, pose for this pathogen.

In addition, he works on a PhD project that is guided by prof. dr. ir. Mieke Uyttendaele, prof. dr. ir. Liesbeth Jacxsens, and prof. dr. ir. Wim Verbeke. In this PhD project, he investigates the concerns and risk perceptions of consumers with regard to microbial food safety issues. Based on this, he aims to construct a multi-stakeholder framework that takes both risk appraisal and cost-benefit analysis into account and that can be used as a tool for political decision-making processes regarding the establishment of acceptable microbial risks in society. In this PhD project, he also investigates the attributes of an appropriate, proactive communication strategy that can be used to provide sensitive groups and/or the general society with relevant, reliable, comprehensible, well-balanced and timely microbial food safety information that meets their needs and concerns, narrows the gap between the perceived and the actual risk, and creates a common awareness of the unavoidable existence of residual microbial risks.

Besides these projects, he also provides support for the course on Microbiological Food Safety of prof. dr. ir. Mieke Uyttendaele.