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Food Consumption Data in Microbiological Risk Assessment

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The 1st International Conference on Microbiological Risk Assessment: Foodborne Hazards was held in July 2002. One of the goals of that conference was to evaluate the current status and future needs and directions of the science of microbial risk assessment. This article is based in part on a talk presented at that meeting. Here, we review the types of food consumption data available for use in microbial risk assessments and address their strengths and limitations. Consumption data available range from total population summary data derived from food production statistics to detailed information, derived from national food consumption surveys, about the types and amounts of food consumed at the individual level. Although population summary data are available for most countries, detailed data are available for a limited number of countries and may only be available in summary format. Despite the relatively large amount of detailed information collected by these national surveys, information crucial to microbial risk assessments, such as the specific types of foods, the eating patterns of susceptible populations, or an individual's propensity for consuming high-risk foods (e.g., eating undercooked hamburgers, raw shellfish, or temperature-abused foods), are not collected during these surveys.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Exponent, Inc. (formerly Novigen Sciences, Inc.), 1730 Rhode Island Avenue N.W., Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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