Potential Application of Risk Assessment Techniques to Microbiological Issues Related to International Trade in Food and Food Products

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One of the components of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Sanitary and Phytosanitary agreement that will have far-reaching effects on international trade in foods and food products is the requirement for countries to provide risk assessments as part of the process of resolving disputes that involve food safety issues. Risk assessment is a means of evaluating the likelihood and impact of hazards. It provides a framework for systematically considering available data, providing rationales for assumptions, and identifying areas where additional information is needed. While the application of quantitative risk assessment techniques to microbial food safety has been limited, recent studies have increasingly demonstrated its feasibility. Quantitative risk assessment is particularly well suited for use with the hazard analysis critical control point and appears to have potential as an approach for comparing the equivalence of international food safety programs and inspection systems.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: ICMSF Secretariat Office, Nestlé, Avenue Nestlé 55, CH-1800 Vevey, Switzerland

Publication date: August 1, 1998

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