Sécurité sanitaire et qualité des aliments

New FAO/WHO Guidance: Microbiological risk assessment for food


As the world celebrates World Food Safety Day, the Joint FAO/WHO Scientific Advice Programme is publishing Microbiological Risk Assessment Guidance for Food. In line with the slogan for the day, 'Food safety is everyone’s business', this guidance, developed with experts in the field, is intended for use by all those with a role in microbiological food safety – by governments and competent authorities to develop the assessments that underpin policy and decision making, by academia as a reference and teaching materials, and by the private sector for improving food safety management systems.

Microbiological hazards include dangerous bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses such as SalmonellaE. coli, AspergillusCyclospora and norovirus. When food is improperly handled at any step from the farm to our table, these microbes can make their way into our food supply and make people sick. Foodborne illness affects 600 million people and causes 420 000 deaths each year. These figures can be reduced through food safety.

Food safety is science-based and includes actions taken to prevent or eliminate harmful food contamination, such as good agriculture and hygiene practices on the farm and during food manufacturing and distribution, in addition to proper food preparation, storage and cooking practices at home. 

Risk assessment allows scientist to identify and understand microbiological and chemical risks associated with our foods so that they can be controlled to keep our food safe. Safe food contributes to a healthy life, it is essential to food security and human health, and it also improves economic opportunities by enabling market access and productivity.

By working together, we can achieve safe food now for a healthier tomorrow. 

Download the publication

See the related brochure in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

This infographic (available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) introduces the concept of microbiological risk assessment for food.

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