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When you want to assess risks in the food chain you first need to learn some basic principles. First of all, you should be aware of the difference between a hazard and a risk. The terms ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’ are often used interchangeably, but their meanings are very different. If you want to understand health risks associated with food, you need to understand the difference between a hazard and a risk.



A hazard is defined as ’anything that has the potential to cause harm.’ It can also be a toxic chemical in your food or a bacteria. Every day you are surrounded by a large number of hazards. Fortunately, most of these hazards do not pose a risk to your health.

A risk is defined as ‘the chance or probability that a person will be harmed or experience an adverse health effect if exposed to a hazard.’ In other words, a hazard can only become a risk when there is exposure to that danger!



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