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An ‘original’ risk analysis workshop takes place in the Dominican Republic


Constanza Vergara and Claudio Canales of the Chilean Codex Committee (ACHIPIA) used a methodology that combines science with creativity to build the capacity of food safety risk managers and communicators to analyse risks in a workshop on 28-30 August in Santo Domingo. The training session was part of the twinning programme of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) aimed at strengthening the Codex Alimentarius in the region.

"We believe that the experience of Chile will be very useful to the Dominican Republic, and in return our Chilean friends can enrich their initiatives with what this country has to offer," said the IICA representative of the Dominican Republic, Frank Lam, who opened the meeting.


The initiative was promoted by the Dominican Republic Codex Contact Point, Fátima Rosario Cabrera of the Codex Alimentarius National Committee (CONCA), and Modesto Pérez, who, together with IICA convened the meeting. Thirty-five people from the Ministries of Public Health, Agriculture, the National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights, the Dominican Institute of Quality, INDOCAL, the National Council for the Regulation and Promotion of the Dairy Industry, CONALECHE, Experts of the Food Industry and health professionals in areas related to the subject were in attendance.

Centred on a creative action methodology, the workshop began with Vergara, who explained the basic concepts of food safety risk analysis and its relationship with the Codex Alimentarius, then expanded to risk assessment and the prioritization of hazards, with theoretical-practical sessions of prioritization, evaluation of microbiological risks and the establishment of maximum residue limits. The second day focused on perception and risk management, then moved to risk communication.

Canales spoke about the communication model used by the Chilean Agency for Food Safety and Quality (ACHIPIA), which is based on creativity, and presented communication initiatives that have been developed from that model. The workshop focused on the dynamics that sparked the creative process for participants, which included designers, journalists, lawyers and risk managers, with whom the methodology was used to lead to the development of local communication strategies based on creativity and promoting food safety education based on original solutions. Canales pointed out that risk communication is more than a scientific process; it is a social process that is determined by several factors - from the general public’s and authorities’ knowledge of risks and food hazards to the social, political and economic situation of the country.


Read more  (Spanish)