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Risk assessment of biological hazards in the European Union

International Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2007.06.007
  • Microbiological Risk Assessment
  • Risk Communication
  • Food Safety
  • Efsa
  • Biological Hazards
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Medicine


Abstract International, community and national food safety law and any subsequent decision-making practices aim to be based on risk analysis—a process consisting of risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. With the appointment of the European Food Safety Authority as an independent scientific point of reference in risk assessment, there is a clear functional separation between risk assessment and risk management in the European Union food safety context. When a food safety question on microbiological hazards is to be answered – which is under the remit of the EFSA's Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) – extensive dialogue and interactions covering the clarity of the question, the acceptability of the deadline and the availability of all necessary information take place with both the risk managers who ask the question and the stakeholders. During the first mandate of the BIOHAZ Panel (2003–2006), the scientific opinions were mainly based on qualitative and in some cases semi-quantitative microbiological risk assessment. In the second mandate of the BIOHAZ Panel, and as a first step towards developing a European approach on Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA), EFSA is preparing to carry out a QMRA on Salmonella in pigs, at European level through a consortium of European institutes.

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