Food Safety Objectives (FSO) and Performance Objectives (PO) are new criteria complementing the existing concepts of microbiological criteria and MRL for many chemical contaminants. However, to achieve these, it is of critical importance to harmonise food safety control procedures.
The overall objective of the BASELINE project is:
- to provide harmonised and validated sampling strategies, structured as International standard (ex. ISO),
- to support the European policies in food safety and to be suitable for food producers, in order to collect comparable data to improve quantitative risk analysis of selected biological and chemical agents.
The major output of the project is to generate new knowledge on sampling schemes for risk assessment by using a mathematical approach for different groups of food products as seafood, eggs and egg products, fresh meats, milk and dairy products and plant products. The project results will be translated in clear recommendations to the EC and end users and they will have a significant impact on protecting human and veterinary health.
ICMSF has developed software tools:
- to determine the performance of statistical
sampling plans that are used to assess the microbiological quality of
batches of food, and;
- to validate the efficacy of measures to control microbial contamination of foods using the Food Safety Objective approach.
Embracing and applying a risk-based approach to food safety can be challenging, particularly when countries have limited resources and /or capacities. In their efforts to support the uptake of risk-based food safety management FAO and WHO are working to develop accessible and user-friendly tools for the wider food safety community. Development of these tools has been driven by the international standard setting work of the Codex Alimentarius which takes a risk-based approach to its standard development work and in its standards guides countries to also embrace risk based approaches.
- Assess the performance of range of sampling plans, irrespective of the pathogen or commodity they refer to.
- Explore the impact of two- and three-class sampling plans (both presence/absence and concentration-based) in terms of the likelihood to detect and reject product not meeting the microbiological criterion
- Estimate the risk reduction associated with this removal of unacceptable product from the exposure pathway.