Our CC participates upon request from WHO in The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA). The CC provides technical expertise and peer review for JEMRA risk assessment. A guidance document will be prepared for foodborne parasites, in line with the earlier FAO/WHO guidance document on foodborne viruses (Viruses in food: scientific advice to support risk management activities, meeting report 2008). 

Risk Analysis Methodologies

In July 2016 the WHO CC was asked to review three WHO guideline documents on risk analyses of pathogens in food and water. These are:

  • Hazard characterisation for Pathogens in food and water (MRA 3, 2003)
  • Exposure assessment of microbiological hazards in food (MRA 7, 2008)
  • Risk characterisation of microbiological hazards in food (MRA 17, 2009)

In addition to the three documents proposed above, three other WHO/FAO references were included for review in 2017:

  • Quantitative microbial risk assessment: application for water safety management (WA 675)
  • Principles and methods for the risk assessment of chemicals in food. Chapter 2: Risk assessment and its role in risk analysis (EHC 240)
  • Risk assessment of Cryptosporidium in drinking water (WHO/HSE/WSH/09.04)

WHO has asked RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment whether updates of these documents are needed, taking into account new knowledge and the following considerations:

  1.  Could these documents be integrated? (Like risk assessment of chemicals (EHC 240))
  2.  Are the documents applicable for both food and/or water? Is it possible to include concepts used in chemical risk assessment (e.g. uncertainties), in the microbiological risk assessment?

In response, Teunis and Schijven (RIVM) have written a generic guidance document to Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) for food and water (draft). This document intends to update and harmonise existing WHO documents on QMRA. In addition, to assist revising/updating of existing WHO/FAO framework documents, a list of notes/comments is provided as well.