S47 Dilemma in Constructive Use of Risk Assessment in a Variable World: All Microbes are Equal But Some Microbes are More Equal Than Others

Tuesday, August 2, 2016: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
231-232 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Marcel Zwietering
Organizers: Marcel Zwietering , Alejandro Amezquita and Thomas Bell
Convenors: Yuhuan Chen , Thomas Bell and Marcel Zwietering
Risk assessment often deals with variability and uncertainty, while food safety management often needs to make discrete decisions. The objective of this symposium is to facilitate connecting probabilistic variability (and uncertainty) in Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) on the one side and management need for “discrete” decisions on the other side, for a better understanding of how to manage food safety risks in a variable world. Microbiological criteria, processing targets and limits for CCPs, are examples of “lines in the sand." Decisions from legislation or in standard settings are often discrete. But we live in a variable world: microbiology, food processes, raw materials, humans all are inherently variable. All of these aspects are treated in QRAs, but sometimes this variability, as well as explicit communication of uncertainty, undermines the understanding and the confidence in these analyses and their applications. Making models more “accurate” than reality is simply not possible in a variable world, making them more realistic is possible. Understanding the magnitude and sources of variability and uncertainty can aid in decision making, including selecting the most efficient control measures.

The symposium brings speakers and a panel from academia, industry and government to share the latest developments in QRA, lessons learned and experiences in constructive use of QRA to inform decision making under variability and uncertainty. The symposium includes three presentations and a facilitated panel discussion; in order to bridge the gaps and to make connections between risk assessments and decision makers in government, industry and beyond.


2:30 PM
Panel Discussion Confidence in Risk Modelling for Decision Making
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