Risk Assessment: A Means for Linking HACCP Plans and Public Health

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HACCP plan adoption has greatly enhanced the food industry's ability to systematically design programs to ensure the microbiological safety of foods. Yet, this widening acceptance of the HACCP system has revealed several areas where its application is limited due to reliance on qualitative consideration of hazards and their control. In particular, HACCP planning is limited both conceptually and practically by its inability to quantify the potential combined influence of multiple control-point deviations and to relate the successful operation of a HACCP system to a measurable public-health impact. Recent advances in quantitative microbiological risk assessment appear to offer a means of overcoming these limitations. The integration of HACCP plans with the development of dynamic risk-assessment models offers a means for considering the entire farm-to-table continuum and for relating food-manufacturing operations to public health goals. Such capabilities may be critical to establishing equivalence among HACCP systems.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA; FDA, CFSAN, 200 C St. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20204; USA

Publication date: November 1, 1998

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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