Risk assessment and risk management for safe foods: Assessment needs inclusion of variability and uncertainty, management needs discrete decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The introduction of relevant food safety changes in legislation, like time–temperature criteria for pasteurisation and sterilisation, microbiological criteria, HACCP and FSOs, generally took several decades. All these approaches have helped to define specific targets or systems to improve the management of food safety. More and more the measures could be related to specific efficiency in public health protection. With the use of quantitative risk assessment, theoretically the effect of all interventions on the final risk can be determined, which can help to design the appropriate controls in the food safety management system. In such an assessment in practice, however results have understandably large variability and also uncertainty. There is large variability and uncertainty in the biological parts of the assessment, the dose response (infectivity, human susceptibility) the micro-organism kinetics in the chain (growth, inactivation, stress response) and also in the more technological parts, the conditions in the chain and the consumer behaviour. Often the results of risk assessments are probability distributions of the variability in illness probability, also sometimes represented with their uncertainty. To make a link from these distributions to managerial decisions, that need to be black and white, should not be considered the job of risk managers. This link needs investment from both the assessor and the manager. Keywords: Risk analysis; Food safety management; Complexity; Decision support systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Volume213
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Risk assessment and risk management for safe foods: Assessment needs inclusion of variability and uncertainty, management needs discrete decisions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this