Quantitative Risk Assessment for Food Safety
Risk Analysis
Upcoming Classes

There are currently no upcoming sections for this course.

For more information, you can call us at 301-405-9470, or email us at

Course Description

This course is currently taught by Greg Paoli and Todd Ruthman of Risk Sciences International.

Quantitative Risk Assessment teaches participants the basics of building and understanding quantitative risk assessment models and provides participants with the opportunity to develop, scrutinize and present Monte Carlo simulation models.

This one week course will cover basic modeling concepts, including both deterministic and probabilistic modeling approaches. Participants will be taught how to build risk assessment models using Excel with one of the more commonly-used commercial software packages (@RISK) as well as using the online FDA-iRISK® tool. This course will provide participants with a strong foundation in stochastic processes, probabilistic risk assessment and Monte Carlo simulation. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the principles and mechanics of Monte Carlo simulation, build models using these principles, and learn how to analyze probabilistic models in a risk assessment context. The course will also discuss how to use data and expert opinion when building models. Participants can expect to gain hands-on experience in building and analyzing computer-based probabilistic models and experience some techniques and challenges to expect in presenting their results to various audiences. Learning by example, participants will be given exercises involving elements of real world risk assessments that are being used in current policy and risk management.

As part of the course participants will be introduced to FDA-iRISK®, a Web-based, comparative risk assessment tool that has been available for public use since 2012. This peer-reviewed tool has many built-in functions and automated features that allow users to conduct fully probabilistic risk assessments relatively rapidly and efficiently. It enables users to build, view and share scenarios that reflect their real-world or theoretical food safety issues, without requiring extensive risk assessment modeling experience. As part of the course we will provide attendees a guided, hands-on opportunity to explore the tool, and develop food-safety risk scenarios. The course is conducted in a computer teaching laboratory with two instructors. Lectures will describe various techniques. Participants then work individually and in groups to solidify their understanding of the lecture materials and to build quantitative modeling skills.

Participants should have basic knowledge of probability and statistics and intermediate level skills in using Microsoft Excel 2003. We also strongly recommend Food Safety Risk Assessment as a prerequisite to this course.