Risk assessment is an important phase of the food production path; it is strictly related to the processing chain as a necessary step for safe foods. This paper represents a contribution to understanding what is and how risk assessment could be conducted; it aims to provide some information on the structure of risk assessment, the tools for its identification and measurement and the importance of risk assessment for correct communication. In this context, after a focus on the background and on some commonly used tools (Risk Ranger, FDA-iRisk, decision tree, among others), the paper describes how to perform risk assessment through three case studies: lettuce (for Listeria monocytogenes), chicken salad (for Escherichia coli), and fresh egg pasta (for Staphylococcus aureus) in the first step, and then a comparison of risk for chicken salad contaminated by different pathogens (E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella sp.). As a final step, a critical evaluation of Risk Ranger was carried out, pointing out its pros and cons.
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