Risk-based integrity audits in the food chain – A framework for complex systems

Jochen Kleboth, P.A. Luning*, V. Fogliano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background - Food chains have changed dramatically due to technical and demographic changes over the last decades. Although efforts are made to ensure high quality and integrity, food-borne outbreaks and food scandals still happen to an undesired extent.
Scope and approach - This commentary paper aims to give insight in the current approach in the European food control and audit system, the underestimation of complexity and the role of trust in food control and auditing. Furthermore, the need for complex systems thinking in risk-based auditing is discussed and a framework to structure complex system risk-based auditing is proposed.
Key findings and conclusions - The current food control system seems to cause a reactive vicious cycle, which leads to more and stricter regulations and standards on every level. A new paradigm in risk-based auditing is needed that acknowledges the behaviour of complex systems to ensure trust along the food chain. The proposed framework for complex system risk-based auditing may enable a systematic analysis of audit triggers, audit goals and context characteristics suggesting multiple methods for risk analysis, as basis for the questions on when, how, what, and whom to audit
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Complex systems
  • Food integrity
  • Food quality
  • Food safety
  • Risk-based auditing


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk-based integrity audits in the food chain – A framework for complex systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this