Managing Food Chain Risks

Project Status: Ongoing
Type of Project: Research Project
Principal Investigator: Prof Richard Shepherd, University of Surrey (Email)

Policy and Practice Notes


This is a multidisciplinary project which brings together natural science modelling of risks and uncertainties in the food chain with social science approaches to understanding consumer behaviours, risk communication and participatory processes. In it we will design, develop and evaluate participatory processes and tools for involving stakeholders, particularly those in rural communities, throughout the management and mitigation of a food safety issue or risk event, ensuring that full account is taken of a wide range of potential social, economic and political impacts as well as the more immediate public health related and safety issues.

This will be achieved through the development of a system for modelling technical risk and uncertainty using a state of the art probabilistic tool using 2D Monte Carlo and Bayesian methods to quantify variability and uncertainty. There will be inputs into this process from modular food chain models and studies estimating the impact of risks on consumer behaviour. There will also be close interactions with the development of communication and decision support interfaces based on a mental models approach and throughout the project stakeholder participatory process research will be used both to define the interfaces needed and evaluate the outcomes from the project. Three risk case studies will be used in the development and evaluation of the overall system.


Journal Articles

Malakar, P.K. and Barker, G.C., (2007) ”Food safety objective: an integral part of food chain modelling”. Open Food Science Journal 1(2), 31-32

Books, Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings

Malakar, P.K., Barker, G.C., Gomez Tome, N, Chai, L.C. and Song, R. (2007) “Variability and uncertainty in the Campylobacter load and the corresponding risk in consumption of poultry in the UK” Conference proceedings 277-280, 5th International conference –Predictive Modelling in Foods, Athens, Greece, September 16-19.

Working Papers/Briefing Papers

Bayley, C. and French, S. (2005) Designing a Participatory Process for Stakeholder Involvement in a Societal Decision.

French, S., Barker, G., Bayley, C., Carter, E., Hart, A., Maule, J., Mohr, C., Shepherd, R., and Zhang, N. (2005) Participation and e-Participation: Involving Stakeholders in the Management of Food Chain Risks in the Rural Economy. Briefing paper on participation issues prepared for academic and technical stakeholders.

Shepherd, R., Barker, G., French, S., Hart, A., Maule, J., and Cassidy, A. (2006). ‘Managing food chain risks: integrating technical and stakeholder perspectives on uncertainty’. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 57, 2: 311-327

Conference Papers and Presentations

Shepherd, R. (2004) Integration of social and natural sciences to develop improved tools for assessing and managing food chain risks affecting the rural economy. Paper presented to Food Standards Agency Consumer Exposure Team (CERT) meeting, London.

Barker, G. (2005) "Tools for assessing and managing food chain risks" Presentation to RELU conference Rural Economy and Land Use: The Challenge for Research 19-21 Jan 2005, Birmingham

Barker, G. and Shepherd, R. (2006) “Food safety management and its impact on the rural economy”. Presentation to RELU/AWM Workshop on Sustainable Food Chains and Rural and Regional Development, Birmingham, 11 May.

Cassidy, A. and Maule, A.J. (2006) “All we have to do is make them partners...” Investigating knowledge of food chain risks’ Presentation to New Perspectives on Risk Communication Conference, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 31 August-2 September.

Cassidy, A. and Maule, A.J. (2006) “Implementing public engagement in risk communication: researching knowledge of food chain risks”, Presentation to European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) Conference, University of Lausanne, 23-26 August.

Malakar, P.K. and Baranyi, J. (2006) Presentation to Modelling food safety and risk assessment, Workshop on Modelling Food Safety and Risk Assessment, March 2nd 2006, Kasertsat University, Bangkok.

Malakar, P.K. and Barker, G.C. (2006) Presentation to UK China Workshop on Food Safety, 11-13 December, Zhengzhou, China.

Malakar, P.K. and Barker, G.C. (2006) “Modelling food safety: Predictive microbiology, risk assessment and QMRA” Presentation to Department of Food Science and Technology, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia, 13th March 2006.

Malakar, P.K. and Barker, G.C. (2006) “Probabilistic modelling in food safety assessment” Presentation to Lectures on Probabilistic Modelling in Food Safety Assessment, February 28th 2006, Kasertsat University, Bangkok.

Malakar, P.K. and Barker, G.C. (2006) “Network representation of disease risk from foods” Poster presented at 2nd International Risk Assessment Conference on Microbial Risk Assessment: Foodborne Hazards, 20-23 February, Sydney, Australia.

Malakar, P.K. and Barker, G.C., (2006) Presentation to Introduction to Microbiological Risk Assessment, Chamber of Turkish Food Engineers Association (TMMOB-GMO) conference, May 4th, Istanbul, Turkey.

Petkov, M. and Shepherd, R. (2006) “How will personality affect the risks you take? – A closer look into food risks and consumer behaviour” Presentation to RiskCom 'New Perspectives on Risk Communication: Uncertainty in a Complex Society', Gothenburg, 31 August - 2 September.

Maule, J. (2007) “If we want to change the way consumers think about risk, should we talk to them differently?” Presentation to Relu Conference “Unlocking change in the food chain”, London, 7 November.

Petkov, M. and Shepherd, R. (2007) “How can personality affect the risks we take? A closer look into food risks and consumer behaviour” . Presentation to the Society for Risk Analysis Europe conference, The Hague, 17-19 June 2007.