Food safety

Microbiological risks


The contamination of food by microbiological agents is a worldwide public health concern. Most countries have documented significant increases over the past few decades in the incidence of diseases caused by microorganisms in food, including pathogens such as Salmonella, and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, and parasites such as cryptosporidium and trematodes.

WHO develops scientific risk assessments, guidelines for risk management, including risk communication messages for all stakeholders, including the end users to assist Member States to improve their capacity to prevent and control foodborne diseases.

Joint FAO/WHO expert meetings on microbiological risk assessment (JEMRA)

JEMRA is an international scientific expert group administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO. JEMRA provides scientific risk assessment for selected pathogens to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, develops guidelines for risk assessments and provides expert advice on risk management.

Expert Meetings

JEMRA Expert meeting on the Safety and Quality of Water Used in Food Production and Processing 23-27 September 2019

JEMRA meeting on Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus 13-15 May 2019

JEMRA on Methodologies for Microbiological Risk Assessment 11-15 March, 2019

JEMRA Core Expert meeting on VTEC/STEC 19-22 July 2016

Roster of experts

JEMRA is tasked with the evaluation of different aspects of microbiological hazards in the food supply. This roster consists of scientific experts who have submitted applications in response to public calls for experts on Risk Assessment of Microbiological Hazards related to food safety. The applications were reviewed by the FAO and WHO Secretariats and by an external referee, and selections made on the basis of the criteria outlined in the call for experts. Scientists of the roster will be considered for future meetings of JEMRA according to expertise required for the respective meetings.

Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses