Food safety

About microbiological risk assessment (MRA) in food

What is the role of the WHO in risk assessment?

The World Health Organization is taking a leadership role to initiate and coordinate global activities related to foodborne problems as a public health issue.

Risk analysis is a tool for management of effective controls for foodborne illness. WHO, in collaboration with other international agencies, is working to advance the role of risk assessment within the Codex process and improve the scientific tools available to conduct microbiological risk assessment of food through the following measures:

  • Convene a consultation on risk assessment of biological hazards in food: FAO and WHO jointly convened a consultation of microbiological hazards in foods, 15-19 March 1999
  • Establish a mechanism to provide risk assessment advice to the Codex Committee of Food Hygiene (CCFH): The Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) deals with biological hazards in food. A mechanism needs to be established to provide science-based risk assessment advice to CCFH in a way similar to the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide residues (JMPR), providing risk assessment advice to CCFAC, CCPR, and CCRVDF (Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants, Codex Committee on Pesticide residues and Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods).