The FAO/WHO guidance discusses the assessment of microbiological risk in food
Dangerous bacteria, fungus, parasites, and viruses such as Salmonella, E. coli, Aspergillus, Cyclospora, and norovirus are examples of microbiological hazards. These microbes may enter our food supply and make people sick if food is handled poorly at any point from the farm to our table. Every year, 600 million individuals are affected by foodborne disease, which kills 420 000 people.
The new FAO/WHO Guidance outlines how to conduct risk assessments for all microbial risks that might harm human health in foods across the food supply chain. Microbial toxins that cause acute illness and whose dose is stoichiometrically proportional to the degree of contamination of the toxigenic organism in the meal, such as Staphylococcus aureus, are included. The evaluation of hazards related with intentional contamination (i.e. food tampering) is not included. The document offers a practical advice on how to conduct risk assessments of microbiological hazards in foods, with an emphasis on the following four components: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization.
Overall, the primary goals of these guidelines are to assist the reader in recognizing the key issues and features of a microbiological risk, recognizing the properties of a best-practice risk assessment, avoiding some typical risk assessment mistakes, and conducting risk assessments that are responsive to risk managers' needs.