About the Emerging Risks Unit
Identifying emerging risks in the field of food and feed safety is a key task assigned to EFSA. The Emerging Risks Unit is responsible for establishing procedures to monitor, collect and analyse information and data in order to identify emerging risks. This includes:
- Collecting data and monitoring relevant information sources such as scientific literature, rapid alert systems for food and feed, trade data and official bulletins.
- Developing procedures for analysing and evaluating collected data.
- Sharing information with stakeholders and Member States.
Each year the Emerging Risks Unit publishes a report, which details EFSA’s strategy and activities on emerging risks in food and feed.
Through the early identification of emerging risks in the food chain, the unit’s work supports risk managers in anticipating potential risks and taking effective and timely decisions in the field of food and feed safety.
How we work
In the context of data analysis, a task force composed of EFSA scientific staff was established at the beginning of 2010. This internal task force is responsible for the initial evaluation of data collected during the monitoring activities. This work feeds into the risk assessment activities of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee.
In addition, the Emerging Risks Unit works with partner organisations in the EU Member States and third countries. An Emerging Risks Exchange Network was established in May 2010. It includes experts from Member States’ organisations, the European Commission, relevant EU-agencies and international organisations. It is expected to become the main body for exchanging information on emerging risks to food and feed safety.
A Stakeholder Consultative Group was established in May 2010. It will encourage sharing of data and methodologies. Its experts will have a wide range of experience in the area of emerging risks identification and represent the whole food chain, from primary production to retail.