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Keyword 7 - Risk assessment and Risk Ranking

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Risk assessment is the most appropriate tool to provide the link between hazard control and consumer risk. It estimates the risk for the consumer related to a certain food product/hazard combination and allows to evaluate the impact of intervention measures and/or changing contextual factors. The variability in supply chains and climate change outputs are a challenge for risk assessment needing appropriate data collection.

Veg-i-Trade approach

Veg-i-Trade will provide the first comprehensive integrated impact assessments of farm to fork systems and food safety for different scenarios of climate change. The performed risk assessments within Veg-i-Trade will be related to microbial hazards (enteric bacteria, viruses, and protozoa), pesticide residues and mycotoxins. The risk assessment studies will provide a simulation model that can assess the impact of different logistic system designs on specific product quality parameters, microbial food safety. It will also provide insight in how internal practices should change as an answer to changes (i.e. in production, bacterial contamination…) induced by global warming.
Risk assessment requires various kinds of information e.g. consumption patterns, and baseline surveillance data, which will differ regionally. As much as the resources will allow, this variability will be factored into the models. Data-availability will be worked on within the Veg-i-Trade consortium by historical data collection, execution of surveys and expert elicitation. The execution of risk assessments for the selected case studies will provide risk managers with an order of magnitude estimate for risk ranking purposes and prioritisation of food safety hazards in fresh produce.
Based on expertise gathered in Veg-i-Trade, risk-based sampling schemes will be constructed based on all relevant factors: toxicological properties of the hazard, type of crop, consumption data, vulnerability to food safety hazards. The latter affected by its handling and storage conditions for which time, temperature and atmosphere are crucial factors.