79 (5) 367-380

Title: 
Quantitative microbial risk assessment: methods and quality assurance
Author(s): 
I. BOONE, Y. VAN DER STEDE, M. AERTS, K. MINTIENS, G. DAUBE
Abstract: 

Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is used to estimate the risk level of pathogens along thefood chain and to support management decisions for the reduction of food safety risks. The degree of credibilitythat can be attached to risk assessment results depends largely on the quality and quantity of the data, themodel structure and the assumptions made. Quality Assurance (QA) in QMRA is defined as the structurethat ensures that all the steps in the risk evaluation process are scientifically based so that the policy questionsbeing posed can be answered. Whereas sensitivity analysis and scenario analysis are generally applied inQMRA, formal methods for the evaluation of data quality, the critical evaluation of assumptions, structuredexpert elicitation, the checklist approach and peer review are rarely used in QMRA, even though they wouldimprove the transparency of the risk analysis process. An overview of QA methods for QMRA is presented.The degree of implementation of these methods should be proportionate to the stakes of the risk managementquestions and should be discussed in consultation between the risk assessors and the risk managers.

Full text: 
pp 367-380
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