• Journal Article

The use of multi-criteria decision analysis in food safety risk-benefit assessment

Citation

Ruzante, J. M., Grieger, K. D., Lambertini, E., & Kowalcyk, B. (2017). The use of multi-criteria decision analysis in food safety risk-benefit assessment. Food Protection Trends, March/April, 132-139.

Abstract

Complex decisions call for a wide set of decision-support
tools. Risk-benefit assessment (RBAs) is an emerging topic
in the area of food safety as decision makers begin to realize
that a unilateral focus on risks might be insufficient to make
effective decisions in real-world situations. However, existing
RBA approaches focus only on the adverse or beneficial
health impacts of changes in policies and interventions
and lack a more comprehensive and pragmatic evaluation
of other criteria, beyond public health, that might influence
the risk manager’s decision. Multi-criteria decision
analysis (MCDA) methods are a promising alternative
for handling complex decisions that need to account for
multiple, diverse, and potentially conflicting criteria. In the
past decade, MCDA has been used to balance the risks and
benefits associated with drugs and medical devices, as well
as with certain environmental decisions, but it has not yet
been used in the area of food safety. Therefore, this paper
presents an MCDA approach, illustrated by a hypothetical
case study, that could be used to assess the risk and benefits
of selected food safety interventions.