Risk Assessment Approaches to Setting Thermal Processes in Food Manufacture

ILSI Europe Report Series. 2012:1-40

This report aimed to demonstrate how risk-based concepts and risk assessment techniques can be applied to the setting of thermal processes in food manufacturing. Many operations are governed by official or industry standards (e.g. process must/should achieve a 5 log reduction in Salmonella, a 12 log reduction in Clostridium botulinum). These standards provide a ‘safe harbour’ for manufacturers lacking detailed knowledge of factors relevant to risk, such as the level of raw ingredient contamination, the variability of their process, fate of the product in the marketplace, and the influence of the hazard on human illness.More precise knowledge on risk assessment concepts and techniques can improve the safety of thermal processing and optimise product quality, cost and energy use. The transparency of the risk assessment framework allows for the demonstration of safety to regulators and other stakeholders. The report provides examples that range from the more simplistic application of risk assessment approaches to increasingly complex examples that allow for greater precision. The capabilities and efforts required were highlighted for each of the examples. The report was published in April 2012.

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