E-learning package and wrap-up webinar  /  March 15, 2023  -  June 30, 2023

EFSA training: The risk-benefit assessment framework

E-learning under Topic 4: Principles of human health risk-benefit assessment of foods

Risk-benefit assessment (RBA) of foods is a decision-support tool that assesses the combined beneficial and adverse health effects of foods, diets or food components. It integrates knowledge on nutrition, toxicology, microbiology, and human epidemiology for comprehensive health impact assessments. RBA is thus useful to inform food safety policies or to provide dietary advice based on an integration of the available scientific knowledge. This e-learning provides an introduction to risk-benefit assessment of foods, with an emphasis on methods to quantify the human health impact of food intake. Since RBA is a multidisciplinary approach by nature, participants will learn how methods from epidemiology, toxicological and microbiological risk assessment and nutrition integrate in the assessments. Participants will be guided through the methodology, as well as the challenges associated with RBA and the quantification of human health impact of food intake. This will be done by a combination of theory provided in lectures, and group work. The widely used Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) will be used as common health metric to express health impact. With a “hands-on” process, participants will gain an understanding of the different elements in a risk-benefit assessment. The specific contents and examples of the course will be adapted to reflect the multidisciplinarity of the tool. 

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the utility of risk-benefit assessment and its applications to inform policy in the areas of public health and food safety
  • Identify the underlying disciplines of risk-benefit assessment of foods
  • Define the core elements of a risk-benefit assessment
  • Select and apply methods to evaluate and calculate the adverse and beneficial impact of foods on health based on knowledge from the underlying disciplines
  • Identify the uncertainties in a risk-benefit assessment
  • Evaluate the (quantitative) output of a risk-benefit assessment
  • Evaluate the application, communication and management of risk-benefit assessment in foods

Who will be admitted?

The EFSA e-learning is open to members of the EFSA Scientific Committee and Panels as well as to Working Group members, Network members and EFSA staff, furthermore to members of other European agencies or European institutions. Registrants from other affiliations are not eligible. EFSA reserves the right to select the trainees from all registered persons. If the number of eligible registrants exceeds the number of available places, the first-come, first served principle will be applied. After the registration deadline, all registrants will be informed, and the selected trainees will receive login data for the e-learning platform.