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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Integration of Social, Natural Sciences to Develop Improved Tools: Assessing and Managing Food Chain Risks

A key concept within risk management is uncertainty which needs to be handled both at a statistical level within technical risk assessment and exposure models; but also needs to be understood within the two-way interaction with various stakeholders as part of the risk management process. Stakeholders may vary from specialist risk managers through to members of the public. What has been lacking in this research area in the past is the integration between the best available modelling of technical risk assessments with social science inputs on participation processes, consumer behaviour and effective risk communication.

The project will be based on three case studies representing different types of risk: chemical contamination, microbial contamination and a crisis scenario. At a technical level procedures will be used to model not only the risk to members of the public but also to develop measures of the uncertainties in those estimates of risk, taking account of interactions throughout the food chain and also the likely impact of risk information on consumer behaviour. The best ways of communicating risks both to members of the public and risk managers will be investigated and throughout the research stakeholder groups will be involved both to define the interfaces needed and to evaluate the outcomes from the project.

Food safety

Creator: Pradeep Malakar Date: 29 October 2008 Seminar/workshop