The Fishery Industries Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has produced this document to help those concerned with fish safety and quality to better understand about risk (microbiological and chemical) in the seafood industry and to be able to carry out work on risk assessment.
It aims at assisting those involved in any of the following:
assessing the effectiveness of existing legislation;
measuring the effect of a change in legislation on public health;
measuring the effectiveness of a given safety assurance system;
protecting an export market;
assessing safety of imported seafoods;
assessing equivalence between regulatory systems;
identifying high risk products and pathogens;
responding to outbreaks of food poisoning from a specific product and hazard;
identifying where in the food chain control steps can best be applied.
The text works through examples of how risk analysis can be used for any of the above reasons. Dr John Sumner and Dr Tom Ross prepared this paper with assistance from Dr Lahsen Ababouch. The three have been associated with the work of FAO-World Health Organization (WHO) on microbiological risk assessment; the first two authors prepared risk assessments for the Australian seafood industry. Using their practical knowledge of the fish industry in Asia, the Pacific, South America, Africa and Europe, the authors attempted to demystify the concepts and provide a practical guide, written in simple language and using practical examples, to illustrate the exercises. The photographs were provided by Mr Masanami Izumi.
The authors wish you well in using this paper and the associated CD-ROM and welcome any comments and feedback you have so that we might make any necessary improvements.
Chief, Fish Utilization and Marketing Service
Dr John Sumner, Visiting Research Professor. E-mail: msfoodcons@A130.aone.net.au
Dr Tom Ross, Senior Lecturer in Food Microbiology. E-mail: Tom.Ross@utas.edu.au
Centre for Food Safety and Quality, School of Agricultural Science/Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 54, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia. Tel.: (+61) 3 62262637. Fax: (+61) 3 62262642.
Dr Lahsen Ababouch, Chief, Fish Utilization and Marketing Service,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
Tel.: (+39) 06 57054157. Fax: (+39) 06 57055188.