Development of a risk management tool for prioritizing chemical hazard-food pairs and demonstration for selected mycotoxins

Alessia Stornetta, Barbara E. Engeli, Jürg A. Zarn, Gérard Gremaud, Shana J. Sturla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We developed a simple tool for ranking chemical hazard-food pairs to assist policy makers and risk managers selecting the hazard-food pairs that deserve more attention and need to be monitored during food safety inspections. The tool is based on the derivation of a "Priority Index" (PI) that results from the ratio of the potency of the hazard and the consumer exposure. The potency corresponds to a toxicity reference value of the hazard, whereas the exposure results from the combination of the concentration of the hazard in the food, and the food consumption. Tool's assumptions and limitations are demonstrated and discussed by ranking a dataset of 13 mycotoxins in 26 food items routinely analyzed in Switzerland. The presented ranking of mycotoxin-food pairs has to be considered as relative due to scarce exposure data availability, and uncertainties in toxicity reference values. However, this representative example allows demonstrating the simplicity and the ability of the PI tool to prioritize chemical hazard-food pairs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalRegulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the Federal Food Safety Veterinary Office FSVO, formerly Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Food safety
  • Hazard
  • Mycotoxin
  • Prioritization
  • Ranking
  • Risk management
  • Tool


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