Risk and Food

Risk can be defined as a chance of danger, damage, loss, injury, or any other undesired consequences. Most authors agree that risk involves 2 elements, possible consequences (impact) and associated uncertainty (probability of occurrence). The source of risk is known as hazard. So, hazard relates to the source of harm, while risk is the probability of the harm being experienced. Therefore, some authors defined risk as a combination of hazard and probability of hazard occurrence, where hazard is defined as the degree of harm to human beings, property, society or environment.

Risk is analysed through 3 elements, namely Risk Assessment, Risk Management, and Risk Communication. Figure below depicts inter-correlation between those 3 elements.


Supply Chain Management is defined as a set of methods used to interconnect suppliers, manufactures, warehouses, and clients. This method can be represented by using graph, which contains a set of vertices and edges. In each vertex in a graph, there is a probability that represents a risk with or without pre-condition. Thus, the total risk is a cumulative probability risk in each vertex.

In principle, food should comply the following criteria:

  • be safe
  • be compositionally correct
  • not contain harmful contaminants
  • contain only permitted additives
  • be correctly described
  • bear all necessary markings
  • be labelled truthfully

Food consumers are unlikely to consume or buy the food if they lack of trust of information about the food. They want to be assured that the food they buy and consume has the same quality and safety in manufacturing [1]. One of many information needed by consumers is how safe the food is before the consumption. One supportive answer for that question is by looking at risk of microbacterial contamination along the food distribution in food supply chain. Here, a structured approach to identify the risk in each step of food production until the consumption is measured and prevention of the risk can be adjusted to control the risk at the minimum consequence.

 [1] A. Olsson and C. Skjldebrand, “Risk management and quality assurance through the food supply chain case studies in the swedish food industry,” The Open Food Science Journal, 2008.

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