Quantitative risk assessments estimate the probability of unwanted events occurring and stochastic modelling can incorporate real-life uncertainty and variability into these estimates. There is now a focus on whether these techniques can be applied successfully to the risks associated with food-borne microbiological hazards. With microbiological food-risk assessments, in order to assess the risk to human health, it is not only necessary to estimate the probability of the organisms being present at each stage of the food production pathway, but also to estimate the burden of organisms present at each stage. We are currently undertaking a risk assessment of the risks to human health consequent upon the presence of campylobacters in on-farm poultry. This paper will examine the initial model framework and the methodological issues arising from the complexity of the risk assessment pathway.
- quantitative risk assessment
- food-borne pathogens