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Risk Analysis

Risk Analysis

The Food Protection and Defense Institute is a multi-disciplinary and action-oriented research consortium. Collaborations have been established at over 40 academic and private sector organizations.

Risk analysis establishes innovative strategies to assess, manage, and mitigate risk in the food supply. As defined by the World Health Organization, risk analysis is made up of the three components to accomplish the risk-based management of hazards in food:  1) Risk assessment is the scientific evaluation of known or potential adverse health effects resulting from human exposure to foodborne hazards;  2) Risk management is the process of weighing policy alternatives to accept, minimize, or reduce assessed risks and to select and implement appropriate options; and 3) Risk communication is an interactive process of exchange of information and opinion on risk among risk assessors, risk managers, and other interested parties.

Risk Analysis Publications

Systems Strategies Publications


Current Projects

Emerging Issues: Ebola

Principal Investigator: 
Amy Kircher
The world's largest and longest outbreak of Ebola currently ongoing in West Africa presents a potential threat to the United States. In the context of Ebola, the threat of contaminated food commodities entering the United States and the risk of human infection via consumption of...

Commercialization for Focused Integration of Data for Early Signals (FIDES)

Principal Investigator: 
Amy Kircher
Regulated food products are distributed through global supply chains and are comprised of multiple complex systems to move food from farm to fork. Due to the nature of these systems, rapid and ongoing identification of possible risks are an ongoing challenge. Threats to food products come in many...

Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA) Phase 4

Principal Investigator: 
Karen Everstine
Numerous economically motivated adulteration (EMA) incidents have resulted in public health consequences, including deaths. EMA incidents demonstrate a loss of control over the supply chains for food products. This hampers food safety efforts, and also demonstrates gaps that could be exploited for...

Application of OIE Risk Analysis Framework to Formal and Informal Trade of Wildlife: A Framework for Assessing Threats to U.S. National Food Security - Phase I

Principal Investigator: 
Dominic Travis
A report in 2011 by Global Financial Integrity ranks wildlife black markets as the fifth most lucrative in the world, while some experts claim it may rank third after drugs and arms trafficking. The same established supply chains and transportation networks used to smuggle drugs, arms, and humans...

Vulnerability Assessment of Critical Food Additives

Principal Investigator: 
Margaret Rush
The overall objective of this study is to assess vulnerability of the food supply to introduction of a chemical or biological contaminant through a food additive. To our knowledge, no group has performed a vulnerability assessment that considers the intentional contamination of food additives. The...

Development of a Quantitative Food Supply Vulnerability Tool Exploring Public Health Risks

Principal Investigator: 
Emma Hartnett
The FSMA (2011) Section 106 requires that a vulnerability assessment of the food system be conducted, including biological, chemical, radiological, or other risk assessments. While defining vulnerability, DHS (2010) noted that a practical measure is the "likelihood that an attack is successful...

Risk Mitigation and Food Supply Chain Design and Control

Principal Investigator: 
Alan Erera
This project has two broad aims. The first is to develop improved risk analysis methods for quantifying the vulnerability of a food product supply chain that may be used by an adversary to deliver a chemical or biological agent. The second aim is to create new food supply chain design and control...
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