Food Safety and Zoonoses

Risk management and food safety

A joint FAO/WHO consultation, Rome, Italy, 27 - 31 Jan 1997

Risk Management and Food Safety

Background (from report)

Risk analysis is widely recognized as the fundamental methodology underlying the development of food safety standards. As recognized in the 1995 consultation, risk analysis is composed of three separate but integrated elements, namely risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. That consultation recognized risk communication as an interactive process of exchange of information and opinion on risk among risk assessors, risk managers, and other interested parties.

Risk management is defined within Codex as the process of weighing policy alternatives in the light of the results of risk assessment and, if required, selecting and implementing appropriate control options, including regulatory measures. The outcome of the risk management process, as undertaken by Committees within the Codex Alimentarius system, is the development of standards, guidelines and other recommendations for food safety, the national situation it is likely that different risk management decisions could be made according to different criteria and different ranges of risk management options. The overall objective of Codex is to ensure consumer protection and to facilitate international trade.

Risk managers, in developing approaches to managing risk, utilize the risk characterization that results from the risk assessment process. An important principle that was recognized by the 1995 consultation was the functional separation of risk assessment from risk management.

The significant worldwide increase in foodborne illness that has been recognized in recent years, especially arising from enteric organisms, suggests the need for more effective control using internationally agreed risk management methods.