The Food Safety and Inspection Service and EPA have published a guideline for regulatory agencies, as well as producers and processors, for the conduct of microbial risk assessment related to pathogenic microorganisms, with a focus on food and water. The goal is to improve the quality and consistency of microbial risk assessments of the nation’s food supply.
“Increasing globalization has compounded these risks, with the broadening and often rapid distribution of illnesses,” the guideline states. “Clear and credible risk assessment methods are proving ever more necessary for agencies to address both current and future risks associated with contamination of air, water, soil, and food by bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, and their toxins.”
The guideline addresses the risk assessment process from an introduction to terminology and roles of the participants to recommendations for planning the risk assessment to identifying hazards and responses.