2.3 Emerging Risks Systems based on a Holistic Approach

Many factors inside and outside the food chain – such as human behaviour, trade, climate, regulation and technology – may have direct and/or indirect influence on the emergence and development of foodborne hazards. Therefore a systematic approach that includes all these variables, a so-called holistic approach, might result in a true predictive system for the identification of emerging food safety risks in early stages.

The changes that will affect risks and their management in the future are classified into 4 contexts:

  • Demography
  • Environment
  • Technology
  • Socioeconomic structures
Holistic approach

Holistic approach:

Relating to an analysis of the whole instead of a separation into parts.

It has been recognised that innovations and human behaviour play an outstanding role in the development of systems that identify foodborne hazards in early stages. In addition, key indicators are thought to be found in these sectors.

Systems aiming at identifying emerging foodborne hazards in an early stage should not only focus on the technical requirements to collect and process information but they should also describe how and where it should be used. Furthermore, a dynamic interaction between the risk assessors and risk managers in the various stages of the process is required.


SAFE FOODS: Marvin, H.J.P., Kleter, G.A., Prandini, A., Dekkers, S. and Bolton D.J. (to be published), “Early Identification systems for Emerging Foodborne Hazards”, Food and Chemical Toxicology.