To establish a link between governmental food safety control and operational food safety management, the concepts of the Appropriate Level of Protection (ALOP) and the Food Safety Objective (FSO) have been suggested by international governmental bodies as a means for competent authorities to make food safety control transparent and quantifiable. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the concepts of ALOP and FSO could be practically linked using currently available data. As a case study, the risk of severe listeriosis due to consumption of deli meat products in the Netherlands was taken. The link between the concepts was explored following a “top-down” approach, using epidemiological country data as the starting point, and following a “bottom-up” approach, using data on the prevalence and concentration of the pathogen at retail as the starting point. For the top-down approach, the mean estimated value derived for ALOP was 3.2 cases per million inhabitants per year due to deli meats (95% CrI: 1.1–6.6). For the bottom-up approach, mean ALOP values ranged considerably, 12–44 cases per million inhabitants per year due to deli meats (with 95% CrI ranging from 5.2 to 122), depending on the combination of input parameters used in the risk assessment model. The level of detail considered in the stochastic models applied considerably influenced the ALOP and FSO estimates. Models based on both approaches however were able to describe the link between ALOP and FSO and our results showed that meaningful estimations are feasible, although interpretations need to be made with care.
- quantitative risk-assessment
- prospective cohort