Hazard analysis & Microbiological Risk Assessment

Hazard analysis & Microbiological Risk Assessment

Microbiological food safety has always been a general framework of UMR Secalim's activities which aim in particular to "control" hazards and reduce risk by devising strategies, systems and carrying out work at the heart of the now known triptych. of control: regulations / organizational elements / operational factors.
Two approaches are jointly considered at Secalim for the control and reduction of microbiological risks, depending on whether the hazard or the risk is placed at the center of its concerns. In the first approach, the hazard is objectified, deciphered, dissected in a hazard analysis and the risk is a measure of this hazard. In the second approach called quantitative microbiological risk assessment, risk is quantified as a probability and occupies the main place that must be assessed, managed, or even “communicated”. These two thematics are included in thematic 2: assess the safety risk.

  • Hazard analysis

Several Secalim projects are based on hazard analysis, in particular for new agro-food applications for which it is necessary to acquire knowledge. This is particularly the case for production environments where microbiological monitoring carried out by manufacturers is based on practices and methods that are still poorly known. Clarifying these practices is one of the objectives of the research and development program between Anses and Secalim within the framework of the SEPIA project.

The aim of the INSECT project is to analyze the microbiological hazards present in insect powder, with a view to valorizing insects for human consumption.
The VICTOR project focuses on meat sold in short distribution channels. The aim is to build tools to help farmers in short distribution channels to control the various aspects of the quality of their meat and meat products, in response to the expectations and imperatives of these channels within the territories.

Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment

Secalim has expertise in Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (AQRM). This structured approach is used to estimate the risk associated with consuming a food and to assess risk mitigation measures. QMRA consists of four steps: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment and risk characterization. This methodological research activity fully contributes to the influence of the unit at national and international level. The Erasmus + QSafe project (2015-2017) allowed Secalim to integrate and feed a European network of researchers with a major outlet as an  ITN PROTECT (Predictive mOdelling Tools to evaluate the Effects of Climate change on food safeTy) ongoing project.

Exposure assessment requires predictive microbiology approaches used to predict the growth, survival, or adaptation of microorganisms during food processing processes. Risk assessment (or exposure) models are also being developed in order to assess the risk to the population and the relative impact of processes / formulation / storage / consumer practices on this risk. The work is carried out in partnership with companies or their representatives (professional federations, technical centers).

PhD theses supervised on this topic:

A phD thesis was supervised on the evaluation of wood material in contact with food and was defended in 2015. The phD theses supervised at Secalim requiring the implementation of QMRA were defended in 2014 on the sterilization process for UHT milk, in 2014 on the microbiological shelf-life of poultry sausages with the contribution of High Pressure, in 2015 on the spoilage of bakery products, in 2020 on the exposure of Campylobacter jejuni during the slaughter process (project BIOMICS). The phD theses on the risk - benefit assessment also required QMRA approaches: thesis on the infant milk feeding, defended in 2017 and thesis on the risks - benefits associated with red meat defended in 2020. Another phD thesis also defended 2020 dealing with bacterial spoilage in poultry sausages also required modeling and biostatistics approaches (ANR REDLOSSES).

QMRA could be used in various projects and often resulted in industrial collaborations in different sectors (dairy products, plants, meat products, etc.) and collaborations with scientists from the University of Ghent, UCD of Dublin, the University of Wageningen, as evidenced by the list of publications to follow and the projects in progress opposite.

The outreach of Secalim in hazard analysis and risk assessment is illustrated by the expertise and public policy support missions of some of its members, at the level of the CES BioRisk of ANSES, the DGAL and the DGCCRF. Support work for the development of official controls at the poultry slaughterhouse, the publication of a Notice of Anses related to powder milk infant formula, the writing of a DGCCRF sheet to specify the verification methods of the suitability of wood material to food contact, and the establishment of Afnor and Iso standards on challenge-testing and predictive modeling, constitute some notable achievements.

Les personnes référentes à contacter :

Autres personnes impliquées :


In this folder

Selection of publications in hazard analysis and microbial risk assessment
Characterize the variability of the slaughter and pre-slaughter conditions of broiler chickens in the regions of Brittany and Pays de la Loire, likely to influence the level of contamination of carcasses in post-chilling
A prediction of consumer exposure to Escherichia coli
Do Rainbow Trout Fillets Host Determinants of Antibiotic Resistance?
An assessment of consumer exposure to Campylobacter that takes into account strain variability and cell history
Consuming less than 65 g of red mead per day would limit the risk of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular diseases
Its survival during refrigerated storage depends on the stresses applied during the slaughter stages
Quantification of Campylobacter contamination in chicken carcasses in France
Health risk assessment for preparing infant formulas for infants in France.
Les spores de moisissures, présentes dans l’air, sont susceptibles de contaminer les produits de boulangerie-viennoiserie-pâtisserie, pour ensuite se développer et former une colonie appelée mycélium
The effects of pH, water and temperature on the growth rate and lag phase of moulds isolated from bakery products.
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Modification date: 16 November 2023 | Publication date: 13 November 2020 | By: SG