JIFSAN Offers Four Weeks of Risk Analysis Courses

Participants learn in the JIFSAN classroom during the Risk Assessment course.

Participants learn in the JIFSAN classroom during the Risk Assessment course.

This fall, JIFSAN offered four weeks’ worth of courses on Risk Analysis Overview, Risk Management, Risk Assessment, Risk Communication and Introductory through Advanced Quantitative Risk Analysis. Participants had the option of signing up for as little or as many courses as they preferred during the four weeks.

The first four courses were taught by JIFSAN instructor, Dr. Charles Yoe, a professor of Economics at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland. Dr. Yoe has participated in over fifty risk assessment projects and has developed and taught seminars and courses in risk assessment and risk management.

The collection of courses ran from October 27 to November 21, 2014. The courses provided information on the process of weighing policy alternatives to control risks effectively, allowed for hands-on experience in predicting the likelihood of harm resulting from exposure to chemical, microbial and physical agents in the diet, and discussed how to exchange information about hazards and risks with regards to food safety.

Participants Baozhang Luo, who works for the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and Jinyao Chen, a lecturer at the West China School of Public Health Sichuan University, partook in all four weeks of courses.

“I’m now a teacher and lecturer at a university in China and our school advises government agencies,” Chen said. “We can use these courses to expand courses at our university and also provide advice to the government.”

Both Chen and Luo found the courses helpful and would be interested in participating in more JIFSAN programs in the future.

The courses with a focus on Quantitative Risk Analysis looked at how to effectively use a risk modeling software environment and provided experience in building and analyzing computer-based probabilistic models. Dr. Francisco Zagmutt, a managing partner at EpiX Analytics, and Dr. Clare Narrod, Research Scientist and Manager for the Risk Analysis Program, instructed these courses at JIFSAN. The courses covered basic modeling concepts with deterministic and probabilistic modeling approaches. The Advanced Quantitative Risk Assessment Course allowed participants to further develop their knowledge and risk analysis skills through practice with internationally accepted modeling techniques, choosing between possible conflicting sources of evidence, and learning effective ways to communicate results to different audiences.

In addition to in-the-classroom courses, Dr. Yoe teaches online courses, including “Overview of Risky Analysis”, “Food Safety Risk Management”, and “Food Safety Risk Assessment”. If you are interested in signing up for a Risk Analysis course, visit our website at, contact the Risk Analysis Program at 301-405-1780, or email Dr. Clare Narrod at