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  1. Risk and Safety Assessments (Food)

Completed and Ongoing Risk Assessment Projects at CFSAN

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Risk Assessments


  • Evaluate relative effectiveness of control strategies to reduce or prevent foodborne illnesses. Serve as tools for informed policy decisions and for use by public-health officials, food industry, etc.
  • Listeria in RTE Foods Risk Assessment (2003)
  • Vibrio in Raw Oysters Risk Assessment (2005)
  • Domestic Priorities List, relative risk ranking for field-work planning (2007)
  • Produce Risk-Ranking Tool (2009)
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Poultry and Eggs (w/FSIS & APHIS) (2010)
  • iRISK, a comparative risk assessment tool
  • Listeria Cross-contamination in Retail Delis (w/FSIS)


  • Listeria in Soft-ripened Cheese (w/Canada)
  • Listeria in Hot- and Cold-Smoked Finfish
  • Drug Residues in Milk (w/CVM)
  • On-Farm Produce Risk Model, QPRAM
  • Updated Listeria in RTE Foods (w/FSIS)
  • Norovirus in Shellfish (w/Canada)

Risk Profiles

Comprehensive review of scientific data and information to identify and evaluate potential control and prevention options.


  • Hepatitis A Virus in Produce
  • Transmission of Norovirus
  • Listeria in Fresh Produce
  • Pathogens in Raw-Milk Cheese
  • Pathogens and Filth in Spices


Work with others to leverage resources, to improve the utility and capability of risk assessments.


  • Scientific Assessment and Evaluation Contract (RTI): Support development of farm-to-table risk tools.
  • GIS Modeling and Risk Assessment Tools: (IAG w/NASA, ARS, APHIS): Development of model to characterize and predict contamination of produce with enteric pathogens.
  • The Interagency Risk Assessment Consortium (IRAC): Enhance communication and coordination among Federal agencies and conduct of scientific research to facilitate risk assessments.
  • JIFSAN Steering Committee: facilitate education efforts on risk assessment, including content for www.foodrisk.org, an information hub for the greater risk-assessment community.
  • Peer Review Contract (Versar, Inc.): independent external peer review of scientific information and risk assessments.
  • Wildlife and livestock database (w/APHIS).

Research & Data Collections

Provides information and data for planned or ongoing risk profiles and assessments, including development of new tools and methods.


  • Retail and Home Cold Temperature Data (EcoSure): Data on cold temperature storage of food by retail and consumers; exclusive post on www.foodrisk.org.
  • Retail Worker Observational Pilot Study (w/ JIFSAN/UMD): Study to explore food employees' compliance with FDA recommendations; provide data for the Listeria retail risk assessment.
  • Library of 50 commodities & 20 hazards for iRISK.
  • Evaluate risk of invasive listeriosis for susceptible populations, using FoodNet data (w/CDC)


  • Market Basket Survey Phase I - Prevalence and levels of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods (IAG with USDA/ARS).
  • Market Basket Survey Phase II (phases III & IV to follow).
  • Field trials to determine pathogen transfer coefficients (w/UC Davis).

Decision Analysis Tools

Systematically incorporate not only scientific, but also social factors, to help ensure policy decisions are both scientifically sound and practical.


FY11 Microbiological Sampling Strategic Plan.

FY12 Microbiological Sampling Strategic Plan.

FY11 targeted inspections of egg firms.


  • Data-driven system for prioritizing risks (w/RTI) 

Related Initiatives

These documents guide further development of risk-assessment projects.


  • CFSAN’s Risk Assessment Framework (2001)
  • CFSAN’s Risk Management Framework (2002)
  • Inventory of risk ranking & prioritization tools (2009)
  • Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Food Allergens & for Gluten in Food (2006)
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