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Development of a risk-ranking framework to evaluate simultaneously biological and chemical hazards related to food safety: Application to emerging dietary practices in France

Abstract : The objective of this study was to develop a structured and transparent framework to rank emerging dietary practices. The first challenge was to rank simultaneously biological and chemical hazards using the same criteria whatever the nature of the hazard. For a list of dietary practices selected based on the results of a survey, hazard identification and health effect characterization was carried out. Taking only the top five practices led to the identification of 41 triplets "emerging dietary practice - hazard - health effect", which highlights the complexity of scoring risk in food safety. A wide variety of hazards, including microbes, parasites, mycotoxins, allergens and other chemical compounds were considered together with a range of health effects such as foodborne pathogen disease, anaphylaxis, cancer, immunosuppression, endocrine disturbance, etc. The second challenge was to develop a framework easy to populate and run. The risk-ranking framework included eight criteria: five to describe the severity, three to describe the likelihood. All of them were informed by literature data and food safety agencies' reports, plus experts' opinion. The PROMETHEE outranking MCDA technique, available in a R package, was implemented. This risk-ranking framework applied to the results of our small-scale survey revealed that consuming nuts on a regular basis could be the emerging dietary habit presenting the highest-risk score, due to the aflatoxin B1 hazard and its associated health effect (liver cancer). This risk-ranking framework requires however to be applied furthermore in other contexts to evaluate its robustness and identify opportunities for improvement. Once consolidated, this framework will be highly relevant for food safety authorities and policy makers to move forward transparent and evidence-informed decisions.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 10:39:14 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 8:42:02 AM

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Mounia Eygue, Florence Richard-Forget, Jean-Michel Cappelier, Laetitia Pinson-Gadais, Jeanne-Marie Membré. Development of a risk-ranking framework to evaluate simultaneously biological and chemical hazards related to food safety: Application to emerging dietary practices in France. Food Control, Elsevier, 2020, 115, pp.1-14. ⟨10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107279⟩. ⟨hal-02793400⟩

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