Workshop on Food Safety Risk Assessment

Sandton, South Africa
2014-06-17 – 2014-06-18


Introduction to ILSI

Alejandro Amézquita, PhD
Sources of Information and Available Tools for Conducting Risk Assessments

Alejandro Amézquita, PhD
Microbiological Risk Assessment: Example - The FAO/WHO Listeria monocytogenes risk assessment

Anne Constable, PhD
Nestlé Research Center
Case Study: Aspartame

Paul Hepburn, PhD
Conducting and Using Results of Risk Assessments in Industry

Boitshoko Ntshabele, PhD
South Africa Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Developing Science-based, Harmonised Food Safety Regulations and Standards in Order to Promote Regional and International Trade

Harris Steinman, PhD
Food Allergens: Concepts, Control, Management and Risk Assessment in Southern Africa
Food Allergens: Case Reports

Why Food Safety and Why Now?

The World Trade Organziation's Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (SPS) requires that food safety regulations and standards based on science are developed in order to protect consumers and to facilitate international trade. A number of countries have already developed such regulations, based on risk assessments they have conducted. Results of the risk assessments were used by national authorities (risk managers) to develop science-based regulations. Risk assessment outcomes are also extremely useful for the food industry to develop appropriate Food Safety Objectives (FSOs) and to strengthen their HACCP-based food safety management systems.

Most African countries have not modernised their food safety regulations and standards based on scientific risk assessments. The results often lead to cross-border trade barriers and the potential for food safety risks to consumers. The primary objectives of this workshop are therefore to:

  • Strengthen understanding of risk -based food safety assessments;
  • Strengthen understanding of the role and tasks of the risk manager;
  • Create understanding in incorporating risk assessment outcomes into food safety regulations and standards in order to enhance consumer safety and regional as well as international trade;
  • Assist the food industry in conducting risk assessments at industry level and incorporating outcomes of risk assessments into their HACCP-based food safety management systems;
  • Create mechanisms for collection of data to conduct risk assessments in South Africa and neighbouring countries;
  • Initiate the process of developing a repository of scientists with associated expertise who could be called upon to conduct risk assessments in the national interest;
  • Identify barriers to developing science-based regulations and standards and identify ways of overcoming those barriers in the interest of harmonizing regulations and standards across the region, to enhance regional trade and supply safe food.

Workshop Content Addressed These Needs

Risk Analysis as developed by Codex Alimentarius - a full elucidation of the three components of Risk Analysis, showing particularly the differences between risk assessment and risk management and the roles of government, industry and academic / research organizations and other stakeholders.

Developing Harmonised Food Safety Regulations and Standards based on Science with a view to promoting regional and international trade.

The Role of the Risk Manager in Risk Analysis - the importance of the risk manager in the risk assessment process will be highlighted as well as taking the results of Risk Assessment to the next level of action and implementation.

Conducting and Using Results of Risk Assessments at Industry Level - focus will be placed on this process at industry level as well as the benefits the food industry will obtain from this approach.

The Use of Risk-Based Metrics in Food Safety Management - the use of quantitative microbiological risk assessment to introduce an element of stringency into HACCP at an industry level will be highlighted. New and revised metrics are included e.g. ALOP (appropriate level of protection), FSO (food safety objective), Performance Objectives (PO), Performance Criteria (PC) and other.

Food Allergens - Concepts, Control, Management and Risk Assessment in Southern Africa.

Mycotoxins and Risk Assessment.

Food additives and Risk Assessment.

Tools available from FAO/WHO/ILSI and other organizations for conducting Risk Assessments.

Case studies brought concepts to life:

  • Food Allergens
  • The FAO/WHO Listeria monocytogenes in RTE Food Risk Assessment.
  • Risk Assessment for Infant Foods: Aflatoxins and selected Fusarium mycotoxins.
  • Food Additives

Break away groups with facilitators to discuss various issues to achieve primary objectives of the workshop. Rapporteurs will be appointed to present summary of group discussions.