Food safety sampling, risk assessment and regulatory standards: arbitrary or science-based?

M.H. Zwietering, S. Hielm, A. Havelaar

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Effective control of foodborne illnesses requires 1) disease incidence and severity assessments, 2) food safety management practices or governmental policy based on the most accurate scientific information, and 3) knowledge of food contamination levels and sampling accuracy. Inaccurate assessments of these criteria, however, occur due to A) underreporting of illnesses, B) transmission of pathogens by means other than the foodborne route, and C) errors in sampling plans, in part, based on non-uniform pathogen distribution. These uncertainties necessitate the use of estimations, predictions and modeling in determining acceptable risk and establishing microbiological standards by governmental authorities. This symposium will address these issues with leading experts in the field, discussing bacterial distributions and sampling plans, the utility of predictive modeling in risk assessment and setting policy, setting food standards in the U.S. and the FAO, as well as a discussion on the applicability of the ALOP and FSO concepts in food safety and specific case studies.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)11
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue numberSuppl. A
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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