Risk-Analysis Driven Food Regulatory Decisions: Food Consumption Information


This presentation was given at the annual conference of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Riyadh (through Remote participation).

It aims at highlighting the importance of Food Consumption Information in Food Risk Assessment: “What you Consume Influences How You Are Exposed to Food Risks”.

Food consumption data are key to enabling the conduct of risk assessments and several other risk-based interventions in relation with food. In particular, exposure assessments are a required component of food risk assessment. This assessment will be highly dependent on the availability of data characterizing the way individuals, in a given area, consume food products: the type of foods consumed, their composition and condition of preparation, as well as patterns of consumption. While hazards are characterized in the same manner for humans, accounting for the relevant uncertainties associated with vulnerable groups, exposure assessment and therefore risk characterization is population-dependent. Risk assessments developed at the international level or by a reputable risk assessment body, has to be reviewed to gauge the suitability of its conclusions to a given population or geographic area, through the application of the relevant estimation of exposure, using the suitable and corresponding food consumption information. This presentation attempts to highlight the importance of collecting food consumption data as part of investments in promoting risk-based food decision-making.

It will be important to invest in the development of tools accessible to various food competent authorities around the world to collect food consumption data, based on a common approach, and make such tools accessible broadly, to food competent authorities in developing nations.