RSI STAFF CASE STUDY

WHO/FAO Food Safety Risk Analysis Tools

Serving the needs of both food regulators and the food industry

Case study client: World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland), Food and Agriculture Organization (Rome, Italy)

Listing of the client in no way affirms the client's support, sponsorship, or validation in any form of Risk Sciences International or the RSI staff member(s) who conducted this project during their stay with RSI or prior to joining the company. This case study is displayed for informative purposes only to demonstrate the capacity of RSI staff members. This case study reveals no proprietary information or information deemed sensitive.

Mandate

RSI was contracted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations over the course of several years to develop a suite of tools to serve the needs of food regulators and the food industry globally. These tools are publicly accessible online at https://www.fstools.org/

Work

RSI has developed several online food safety tools in partnership with the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to serve the needs of food regulators and the food industry globally.

These tools include:

  • An interactive risk assessment for Cronobacter sakazakii in Powdered Infant Formula that allows users to assess the impact of different end-product sampling regimes on risk reduction and product rejection and assess the impact of control measures taken during reconstitution of powdered infant formula on risk reduction.
  • A risk management tool for the control of Campylobacter and I spp. in chicken meat that allows users to define their production-to-consumption process flow for chicken meat, investigate the impact of different steps and measures on one or both pathogens, and compute the residual risk between a baseline process flow and one applying selected interventions.
  • A microbiological sampling plan analysis tool that allows users to assess the performance of range of sampling plans to explore the impact of two- and three-class sampling plans (both presence/absence and concentration-based) in terms of the likelihood to detect and reject product not meeting the microbiological criterion, and estimate the risk reduction associated with this removal of unacceptable product from the exposure pathway.
  • A histamine sampling tool that implements selected calculations related to the sampling for histamine and give two main options to the user: Design a Plan – using the tool to explore options for number of samples and concentration thresholds given a histamine concentration limit, and Analyze a Plan – using the tool to analyze a specific plan’s performance.
  • A mycotoxin sampling tool which provides support in analyzing performance of sampling plans, and determining the most appropriate plan to meet user’s defined objectives. The user can evaluate the effect of varying sampling plan design parameters, such as sample size, on the performance of the sampling plan. Using the performance information, the user can also determine the most appropriate mycotoxin sampling plan to minimize risk of misclassifying lots considering available resources.

Outcomes

  1. Improved Food Safety Standards: These tools aid in establishing global food safety standards, guidelines, and recommendations. This helps ensure that foods produced and consumed globally meet basic safety requirements, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  2. Data-Driven Decision Making: The tools enable data-driven decision-making in food safety. By analyzing risks associated with different food products and processes, policymakers can make informed decisions about food safety regulations and practices.
  3. Facilitation of International Trade: Harmonized food safety standards facilitated by these tools can promote international trade. Countries can trade more freely when they have confidence in each other's food safety measures, which these tools help to standardize and improve.
  4. Capacity Building in Developing Countries: The tools assist in building the capacity of developing countries to conduct risk analyses. This is crucial for these countries to improve their food safety systems, access global markets, and protect their populations from foodborne diseases.
  5. Response to Food Safety Emergencies: They provide a framework for responding to food safety emergencies. By assessing risks and identifying the most effective control measures, these tools help in quickly addressing food safety issues as they arise.
  6. Public Health Improvement: Ultimately, the primary benefit is the enhancement of public health. By reducing the prevalence of foodborne diseases, these tools contribute to healthier populations worldwide.

In summary, the WHO/FAO Food Safety Risk Analysis Tools play a critical role in enhancing global food safety, facilitating international trade, supporting public health, and aiding in capacity building, particularly in developing nations.

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