Risk-analysis of human pathogen spread in the vegetable industry: a comparison between organic and conventional production chains


  • E. Franz
  • A.H.C. Van Bruggen
  • A.M. Semenov


An overview is given of recent problems with food-borne enteric human pathogens originating from contaminated agricultural animals. The need for risk analysis is indicated, and the generally accepted procedure for risk assessment is outlined. Two main approaches to probability and risk calculations, namely the “frequentist†and Bayesian approaches, are described. Examples are given of microbial risk assessments in vegetable production that were mainly based on “frequentist†probability assessments. Finally, a Dutch-Russian collaborative project on risk assessment of enteric pathogens in organic and conventional vegetable production chains is outlined, and preliminary data are presented. We conclude that a Bayesian approach, using prior probabilities, is the most appropriate instrument for risk assessment of human-pathogen spread in the vegetable industry