Hazard identification, exposure assessment and hazard characterization of Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens and Vibrio spp. in seafood, a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation, Geneva, Switzerland, 23-27 July 2001
Background and objectives
Risk assessment of microbiological hazards in foods has been identified as a priority area of work for the Codex Alimentarius Commission. At its 32nd session the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) identified a list of pathogen-commodity combinations that require expert risk assessment advice. In response, FAO and WHO, jointly launched a programme of work with the objective of providing expert advice on risk assessment of microbiological hazards in foods to their Member countries and to the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
To implement this programme of work, FAO and WHO are convening a series of joint expert consultations. To date two expert consultations have been held. The first of these was held on 17 - 21 July 2000 and the second on 30 April - 4 May 2001. Both of these expert consultations addressed risk assessment of Salmonella spp. in broiler chickens and eggs and Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. In March 2001 FAO and WHO initiated risk assessment work on two more pathogen-commodity combinations identified as priority issues by the CCFH, namely Vibrio spp. in seafood and Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens. Two ad hoc expert drafting groups have been established to examine the available relevant information on the above mentioned pathogen-commodity combinations and these are currently preparing documentation on both the exposure assessment and hazard characterisation steps of the risk assessment. These documents will be reviewed and evaluated by the joint expert consultation in July 2001.
In October 2001 the preliminary report of this Joint FAO/WHO Consultation on risk assessment of microbiological hazards in foods will be delivered to CCFH. The preliminary report will address exposure assessment and hazard characterization for the two pathogen-commodity combinations. The CCFH is expected to define more focused questions for the expert drafting group's continued work. A final report will be delivered in 2002.
The Consultation will examine the information provided by the expert drafting groups on hazard characterization and exposure assessment of Vibrio spp. in seafood and Campylobacter spp. in broilers with the following objectives:
- To critically review the documents prepared by the ad hoc expert drafting groups giving particular attention to: The scope of the work and the approach taken or the proposed approaches to undertake the risk assessments of these pathogen commodity combinations, the assumptions on which the exposure assessments and hazard characterizations are or will be based, the associated uncertainty and variability and the data needed to improve and complete the work.
- To provide scientific advice to FAO and WHO Member Countries on the risk assessment of Vibrio spp. in seafood and Campylobacter spp. in broilers based on the available documentation and the discussions during the expert consultation.
- To identify the areas in which risk management guidance is needed from the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene to further define the future direction of the work.