Integration of tools and social science into food safety risk assessments
The European Food Risk Assessment (EU‐FORA) Fellowship work programme ‘Integration of tools and social science into food safety risk assessments’ was proposed and delivered by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK. The Food Standards Agency is a non‐ministerial government department of the UK, responsible for protecting public health in relation to food in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The programme was tailored to several different activities to provide an overview of the different tools that can be employed in food safety risk assessment also accounting for the interaction between risk assessment and social science. In order to structure the proposed work, the programme was split into four modules to run over the 12‐month period of ‘learning‐by‐doing’. In the first module, the fellow was introduced to Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA), in the second to Chemical Risk Assessment (CRA), in the third to Social Science, and finally, in the fourth to the Risk Prioritization Tools and Networks in UK ‐ National Dietary Data (NDNS), collection methodology, coding and analysis. The fellow was assigned to the Risk Assessment Unit within the Science, Evidence and Research Department which brings together specialist expertise from Microbiological, Chemical Risk Assessment, and Analytics Units, under one department together with additional staff from the food allergy and radiological risk assessment fields. The aim was to be fully integrated in the organisation's work gaining first‐hand experience, increase knowledge of scientific aspects relevant to food safety risk assessment, and more importantly, to enhance network connection activities in the EU food risk assessment environment.