The White Paper on Food Safety is the benchmark that contributes to the high
level of protection of consumers' health and to maintaining their trust by
ensuring the highest levels of food safety through a radical new approach.
The White Paper states that Risk Analysis should be the basis of food safety
policies through its three components: Risk Assessment (scientific advice and
data analysis), Risk Management (regulations and control) and Risk
Within the "risk analysis" process, the "Risk assessment"
component is a scientifically based process consisting of four stages:
- Identification of the hazard factor: Identifying the biological, chemical
and physical processes that may have adverse effects on health and that may be
present in a particular food or food group.
- Characterization of the hazard factor: The qualitative and/or quantitative
development of the adverse effects on health, associated with biological,
chemical and physical agents that may be present in food.
In the case of chemical agents, the dose-response relationship must be
assessed. In the case of physical or biological agents, the dose-response
relationship must be assessed if the necessary information is available.
- Exposure assessment: The qualitative and/or quantitative assessment of the
likely intake of biological, chemical and physical agents via food as well as
any exposure derived from other sources, if relevant.
- Risk characterisation: The qualitative and/or quantitative estimate,
including attendant uncertainties, of the probability of harmful effects,
whether known or potential, and their severity for the health of a given
population based on hazard identification, hazard characterization and exposure
"Hazard" is understood as any biological, chemical or physical agent
present in food or feed or any biological, chemical or physical condition of
food or feed that may lead to adverse health effects.
Official Journal of the European Union