The TARTARE Scoping Workshop was held on March 3’rd- March 6’th of 2020, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as part of a 3-part series to be followed by a Risk Ranking Workshop and a Risk Prioritization Workshop. It was held as part of Objective 3 of the TARTARE project, which aims to establish risk-based food safety priorities in Ethiopia. As part of this objective, the project will develop a roadmap for a risk-based food safety system which can be used as a model for other low-and middle-income countries. This Scoping Workshop connected government stakeholders and technical advisors from 16 federal agencies engaged in food safety in Ethiopia, using a variety of facilitation techniques to give them the opportunity to work towards the identification of a shared set of priority hazards and to closely interact with participants from different agencies. This interaction is essential to foster the coordination that is needed for a strong, risk-based food safety system.
Food safety risk ranking is the systematic analysis and ordering of foodborne hazards and/or foods in terms of the public health risk, using estimates of the likelihood and severity of adverse impacts on human health.
The forthcoming Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Preliminary Guide to Ranking Food Safety Risks at the National Level identifies three iterative phases including defining the scope, developing the approach, and conducting the risk ranking analysis and report results. Each phase can be further broken down into smaller steps. For the scoping phase, which this workshop was modelled after, the three steps are to: 1.) Define purpose of the ranking; 2.) Select the foodborne hazards and foods to be ranked; and 3.) Sort identified foods and hazards into categorization schemes. This workshop also included discussion of metrics to be used.
The first goal of this workshop was to build a food safety community among the decision makers and stakeholders in Ethiopia. The second was to understand current relevant activities related to food safety and risk ranking, so that we can make connections to that work and keep the project relevant for the stakeholders. The third goal was to provide easy access to existing estimates on the burden of foodborne disease in Ethiopia by presenting country-level estimates generated by the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG)*. The final goal was to help strengthen capacity for risk-based decision making among food safety stakeholders in Ethiopia. Thanks to exceptional engagement from participants, this workshop was a great success and sets the team up well for the Risk Ranking Workshop.
*Havelaar AH, Kirk MD, Torgerson PR, Gibb HJ, Hald T, Lake RJ, Praet N, et al. 2015. “World Health Organization Global Estimates and Regional Comparisons of the Burden of Foodborne Disease in 2010.” PLoS Medicine 12 (12): e1001923. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001923.
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