Risk ranking of chemical hazards in food and feed – A case study in cereals in the Netherlands

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Monitoring programs for food safety hazards in feed and food are increasingly performed on a risk-basis. Various methods are available to rank hazard-product combinations to be included in risk-based monitoring programs. Such methods have been developed for either feed or food, but until now these do not consider hazards in both feed and food simultaneously. Based on available time, budget and data, two methods, i.e. a scoring method and a risk ratio method, were selected that are capable of incorporating both food and feed products for ranking chemical hazards. These methods were compared by applying a case study on chemical hazards in cereals in the Netherlands for various animals and human age groups, using available data on concentrations, consumption available in national databases and toxicity. Results showed that both methods resulted in the highest ranking for the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol, aflatoxin B1 and zearalenone. Maize and wheat products were most frequently included in the top 50 ranked hazard-product combinations. Both methods showed to be capable of ranking hazard-product combinations for various animal and human groups. The risk ratio method provided a more objective and accurate outcome since it is based on actual data. Nevertheless, the risk scoring method may be preferred as it allows more flexibility in type of input data used. Also, it allows for the inclusion of country of origin of the materials used, which is relevant for imported products. This study showed that the risk ratio and the scoring method can successfully be used to rank both food and feed products simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110188
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Food safety
  • Heavy metals
  • Mycotoxins
  • Prioritization
  • Risk-based monitoring


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