Emerging risks

The successful identification of emerging risks is at the heart of protecting public health and the environment. By identifying emerging risks in the food chain early, EFSA supports risk managers in anticipating risks and taking effective and timely prevention measures to protect consumers. Identifying emerging risks also helps to improve EFSA’s ability to meet future risk assessment challenges.
EFSA defines an emerging risk as: “A risk resulting from a newly identified hazard to which a significant exposure may occur, or from an unexpected new or increased significant exposure and/or susceptibility to a known hazard.”

Emerging risk identification is a complex process requiring broad expertise and close cooperation with Member States, stakeholders, and EU and international agencies. Dedicated networks provide the structures needed to exchange experience, methods and data and to assess emerging issues.

In recent years, EFSA has taken a number of practical steps to assist with the identification of emerging risks, including:

  • Developing a methodological framework.
  • Implementing operational processes for emerging risk identification.
  • Identifying and assessing selected sources of information.
  • Developing and testing tools to collect and filter relevant information.