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Microbiological risks and JEMRA

Serving plate of oysters ┃ © FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) began in 2000 in response to requests from the Codex Alimentarius Commission and FAO and WHO Member Countries and the increasing need for risk based scientific advice on microbiological food safety issues.

JEMRA aims to develop and optimise the utility of Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) as a tool to inform actions and decisions aimed at improving food safety and to make it equally available to both developing and developed countries.

Risk management

Microbiological risk management is a dynamic process, using data inputs and decision-making parameters that may change over time.

As microbiological food safety issues are brought to the attention of risk managers, there needs to be a systematic preliminary process that brings particular issues into focus and guides further action.

Using microbiological risk assessment in food safety risk management is an area that is still developing. For MRA to become a truly useful decision-support tool there is a need for risk managers to understand when and how it can be used.