A risk profiling approach to investigate food safety risks within the red meat industry in Australia

Marta Hernandez-Jover, Fiona Culley, Jane Heller, Michael Ward

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


To inform research priorities and support market access, a semi-quantitative risk profiling exercise was conducted to investigate the food safety risks posed by red meat products in Australia.
Materials and methods: Initially, a hazard characterization was conducted - via a review of literature and data on foodborne outbreaks, pathogen surveillance and product recalls, and an expert elicitation process with 15 food safety experts - to identify the Product:Process:Hazard combinations to be considered. The expert elicitation estimated the likelihood of contamination of these combinations. Likelihood ratings were then combined with hazard severity ratings to qualitatively estimate the relative risk posed by each combination. Combinations with a moderate to high risk were included in the semi-quantitative risk profiling using Risk Ranger v2 (http://www. foodsafetycentre.com.au/riskranger.php), which uses eleven criteria describing the hazard severity, population susceptibility, consumption patterns and probability of the product containing an infectious dose. The outcome is a risk ranking (RR); RR ranges from 0 (no risk) to 100 (every member of the population eats a meal that contains a lethal dose of the hazard every day).
Results: STEC E.coli O157 (RR 35-39) and Salmonella spp. (RR 33-37) in undercooked hamburgers and Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat products (RR 35-38) resulted in the highest risk, with this risk being moderate. The model predicted 11-32 annual cases due to STEC E.coli O157 and 28-90 due to Salmonella spp. under different undercooking scenarios. Fifteen cases were estimated due to Listeria monocytogenes. The process identified Toxoplasma gondii in undercooked lamb as high risk among pregnant women (RR 49), with a prediction of 142 annual congenital infections.
Conclusion: This study provides a risk profiling for the red meat industry in Australia, which, considering the available information, suggests red meat products do not pose a high food safety risk.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018
Event15th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 12 Nov 201816 Nov 2018


Conference15th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics


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