SAFOSO previously worked with the Moldovan food safety agency to apply risk assessment methods in the preparation of sampling plans for imported commodities. These activities together with activities of other organizations motivated the Moldovan food safety agency to consider the establishment of a dedicated unit, in which risk assessments benefitting the entire organization can be performed. This has the advantage that the performance of risk assessment will be more clearly distinguished from the development and implementation of risk management, thus contributing to the credibility of the outcomes of risk assessments. Additionally, the staff of this dedicated risk assessment unit will be able to develop a greater expertise in risk assessment.
SAFOSO was requested to support the Moldovan food safety agency in scoping the mandate, tasks and organization of this new unit. SAFOSO held discussions with various representatives of the agency and with external stakeholders to gain insights in their expectations and demands for this risk assessment unit. The results were brought together in a document with a first draft mandate and a further description of tasks and organization aspects. SAFOSO then discussed this conceptual document in more detail during a workshop with senior technical staff of the Moldovan food safety agency. Following the workshop, a full concept for the risk assessment unit was finalized.
Our work contributed significantly to increasing awareness within the Moldovan food safety agency about the role and functions of a risk assessment unit. In particular, a better understanding of the need for collaboration and exchange between risk assessors and risk managers was achieved. This improved awareness is the foundation based on which future decisions about the risk assessment unit can be made.
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