FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Risk characterization is one of the four steps of microbiological
risk assessment. It is defined as an estimation of the probability of
occurrence and severity of known or potential adverse health
effects in a population based on the preceding steps of hazard
identification, hazard characterization and exposure assessment.
It comprises the results of the risk assessment in the form of risk
estimates and risk descriptions and provides the best available
science-based evidence to support food safety management.
This volume presents guidelines for risk characterization of
microbiological hazards in foods. These guidelines provide
descriptive guidance on how to conduct risk characterization in
various contexts, and utilizing a variety of tools and techniques.
They have been developed in recognition of the fact that a
reliable estimation of risk is critical to the overall risk assessment.
This volume and others i n t h i s Microbiological Risk
Assessment Series contain information that is useful to both risk
assessors and risk managers, including international scientific
committees, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, governments
and food regulatory agencies, scientists, food producers and
industries and other people or institutions with an interest in the
area of microbiological hazards in foods, their impact on human
health and food trade and their control.
© FAO 2010