Overview – risk assessment

MPI carries out scientific projects and risk assessments to inform risk management strategies for reducing the incidence of foodborne illness. If you’re new, start here.

About risk assessment

MPI follows the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s (CAC) risk assessment framework when ranking risks, undertaking risk profiles and risk assessments. You can find out more about MPI’s work with the CAC in the Policy & law section of this site.


There are 4 main steps in MPI's risk management process:

  • preliminary risk management activities
  • assessment of risk management options
  • implementation of the risk management decision
  • monitoring and review.

Preliminary risk management activities

Before deciding on further actions, MPI gathers information about potential risks, including:

  • identifying the food safety issue
  • establishing a risk profile
  • ranking the food safety issue for risk management
  • establishing a risk assessment policy
  • commissioning a risk assessment
  • considering the results of risk assessment.

Assessment of risk management options

Assessment includes:

  • identifying the available risk management options
  • selecting a preferred risk management option
  • making a final risk management decision.

Why the process has been adopted

To make the best use of resources, MPI uses the science-based risk assessment process to identify, assess and compare the risks posed by various combinations of contaminants and foods. MPI is then able commit resources to the initiatives, which are most likely reduce these risks.

You can find full details of the MPI risk management process in the document below.

New Zealand's Food Safety Risk Management Framework (529 KB PDF)

You can find information about the Risk Management Framework (RMF) under Food science in MPI in the left-hand menu.

What you will find here

The section about risk assessment is split into various sub-sections. Use the menu on the left to find your way around.

You can find more information in the following sub-sections:

  • Risk ranking – explains the approach to prioritising food safety risks and lists all the documents that relate to this process.
  • Risk profiles – as well as listing MPI’s published risk profiles relevant to  food/hazard combinations, you can find here an explanation of how risk profiles are prepared and how they are used.
  • Quantitative and qualitative risk assessments – find links here to MPI’s assessments that evaluate the probability and severity of illness due to eating food containing particular biological, chemical or physical agents.
  • What’s new – check this page regularly for important updates relevant to Food science & research.

Related information

Information specific to risk assessment is contained in this section. If you want to find out how this scientific work is implemented within New Zealand’s food industry, refer to the Industry requirements and Policy & law sections of the website.

Industry requirements

Policy & law

Keeping up to date

If you want to keep up to date with any new or revised information about Food science & research there are different ways to do this. Choose the methods that work best for you:

What’s new – Click on What’s new in the left-hand menu to read the most recent updates for Science & research.

Get emails – Sign up to receive the latest MPI food safety news by email. Click on the Get emails link at the bottom of any page to sign-up for email notifications.

Subscribe to feeds – Sign-up to receive news feeds. Click on the Subscribe to feeds link the bottom of any page to add to your list of news feeds.

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