Advice 28-2010 of the Scientific Committee of the FASFC on indicators to be used for the development of a barometer for the safety of the food chain: methodology and case study “food safety barometer”
Posted: November 30th, 2010 - 8:55pm
Source: Comite Scientifique De L’agence Federale Pour La Securite De La Chaine Alimentaire
The aim of this advice is to present an instrument to measure and monitor the safety of the food chain on a yearly basis. The ‘Pressure-State-Response’ (PSR) model which has already proven its appropriateness in the environmental sector was used as a basis. The ‘State’ can be considered as a measure or barometer for the safety of the food chain. The ‘Pressure’ and ‘Response’ on the other hand need to be considered as additional information in order to interpret and explain thebarometer of the safety of the food chain..
In this advice the safety of the food chain is divided up into 3 domains, namely food safety, animal health and plant health. Since the state of these 3 aspects can differ strongly and is not always interrelated, it was chosen to measure them separately with 3 different barometers.
To measure the ‘Pressure’ on the food chain, an inquiry of the stakeholders of the food chain in Belgium is proposed, using the Las Vegas method, in order to obtain a prioritization of the observed pressures, based on expert opinion.
In order to measure the ‘State’ of the food chain it is proposed to use a basket of indicators of which the composition can change in time. Quantitative data need to be available for these indicators in order to allow a follow up in time. In regard to the case study ‘food safety barometer’ a basket of indicators iselaborated. In total 30 food safety indicators (FSI’s) were identified. An important difficulty for the elaboration of the indicators was the recovery of appropriate historical quantitative data, so that a comparison over different years is possible. Indeed, the way of reporting different controls, and mainly the degree of detail, has changed over time. For a number of indicators, data became only recently available.
Based on 30 food safety indicators it is concluded that food safety in Belgium is situated on a very high level. Compared to 2007 (reference year) no significant change of the global food safety occurred in 2008. In a second phase, a basket of indicators will be elaborated for the barometer of animal health and the barometer of plant health.
For the measurement of the ‘Response’ it is also proposed to conduct an inquiry of the stakeholders linked to one on the ‘Pressure’. The proposal is to investigate on the basis of 3 questions, how the stakeholders of the food chain have reacted on the observed pressures.
Finally, a proposal for the visual presentation of the food safety barometer is elaborated.