A working procedure for identifying emerging food safety issues at an early stage: Implications for European and international risk management practices

H.J.P. Marvin, G.A. Kleter, L.J. Frewer, S.F. Cope, M.T.A. Wentholt, G. Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a need for early identification of emerging food safety issues in order to prevent them from developing into health risks. In this paper, various existing methods and procedures which can be used for early identification of safety issues are reviewed, including the monitoring of the occurrence of specific hazards within the food supply, or the incidences of food-borne diseases, as well as the combination of these data with other data or with expert opinions. Some methods, including hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP), operate pro-actively by pre-defining indicators for hazards and follow-up measures. Vulnerability assessment focuses on potential weak spots within the food supply, whilst futures research employs foresight to enhance preparedness for future hazards and risks. A Delphi survey on food safety risk analysis conducted among professionals revealed concerns with various aspects of current procedures for dealing with emerging issues, and these are discussed. The Delphi respondents also attached great value to the involvement of stakeholders and the inclusion of a broader range of data into risk analysis. Indeed, holistic systems employing indicators from outside the food production chain are now being developed. In conclusion, a four-step procedure for the early identification of emerging issues is proposed. Keywords: Food safety; Emerging risks; Early warning; Risk analysis; Holistic; Indicator
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-356
JournalFood Control
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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