Risk Assessment and Risk Management

The microbial safety of food has been advanced substantially by the introduction and implementation of the hazard analysis of critical control point (HACCP) concept. It provides a systematic conceptual framework for identifying hazards and focusing on the proper functioning of key food production, processing and marketing steps.The complexity of the pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest environments make it impossible to control all potential source of microbial contamination. Efforts at control and prevention are implemented throughout the food production and processing system. Researchers are searching for a better understanding of the pathogen and their interaction with the environment, leading to improved control methods. But at the same time, the pathogens continue to evolve, and human actions drive that evolution. Even small environmental change can have unforeseen or even unforeseeable impact on microbiological populations. Improved understanding of these complex factor provides insight into pathogen evolution and opens the door to improved prevention and control methods.

Microbiological risk assessment is one of the most important recent developments in food safety management. Risk assessment is the scientific evaluation of known or potential adverse health effects resulting from human exposure to foodborne hazards. The process consists of hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment and risk charaterization. Risk management is the process of weighing policy alternatives to accept, minimize or reduce assessed risks and to select and implement appropriate options. The definition includes quantitative risk assessment, which emphasizes reliance on numerical expressions of risk, and also qualitative expressions of risk, as well as an indication of the attendant uncertainties. The microbiological safety of food has been advanced substantially by the introduction and implementation of the hazard analysis of critical control point (HACCP) concept. HACCP provides a systematic conceptual framework for identifying hazards and focusing efforts on the proper functioning of key food production, processing and marketing steps.

  • Establishing a risk assessment policy
  • Types of risk assessment and risk assessment tools
  • Risk management using food safety objectives
  • Hazard control and monitoring
  • HACCP
  • Microbiological criteria and testing
  • Surveillance for foodborne hazards and illness
  • Outbreak investigations and new foodborne pathogens
  • Current surveillance programs
  • Alternative processing technologies and novel foods
  • Approaches to deal with risks and challenges

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