As part of a joint initiative with national food safety agencies, EFSA is publishing new risk communications guidelines: “When Food Is Cooking Up a Storm – Proven Recipes for Risk Communications”. A recognised need for practical guidance coupled with a desire from all participating countries to share learning and experience to strengthen risk communications within the European food safety system has resulted in these guidelines.
EFSA’s Director of Communications, Anne-Laure Gassin explains “Communicators in public health authorities across Europe often face the daunting task of assessing what to communicate, when and how best to do so. The aim of these guidelines is to provide a framework to assist communications practitioners with this type of decision-making, looking at the different communications approaches in a wide variety of situations that can occur when assessing and communicating on food-related risks and concerns in Europe.”
Communicators from EFSA, national food safety authorities across Europe as well as the European Commission work together in the Authority’s Advisory Forum Communications Working Group (AFCWG). The guidelines were initiated as part of an overall aim to share best practices in risk communications. A key aim of the AFCWG is to promote co-operation and coherence in risk communications – one of the key priorities laid down in EFSA’s Communications Strategy - particularly between risk assessors in Member States and EFSA.
The guidelines published today, will be periodically revisited and updated with best practice case studies. In keeping with the spirit of this collaborative initiative, all feedback from practitioners is welcomed at: riskcommunications [at] efsa.europa.eu