Food safety

Exposure assessment of microbiological hazards in food

Microbiological risk assessment series 7, guidelines

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Authors:
FAO/WHO

Publication details

Editors: World Health Organization
Publication date: 2008
Languages: English

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Overview

FAO and WHO have elaborated practical guidelines for exposure assessment of microbiological hazards in foods. The need for such guidelines has been highlighted in the work being undertaken by FAO and WHO on risk assessment of specific pathogen-commodity combinations and it is recognized that the reliable estimate of exposure represents one of the most challenging steps in risk assessment. Exposure assessment provides an estimation of the likely intake of a microbiological hazard in a specific food or a range of foods. It can be a qualitative or quantitative evaluation and ideally will also provide information on the actual amount of hazard consumed.

The guidelines outline the principles of exposure assessment as well as the data needed and approaches available for carrying out exposure assessment. They also address the issues of uncertainty, variability, quality and communication as they relate to exposure assessment.