Application of multicriteria decision analysis tools to the prioritization of microbial hazards in food systems
Five multicriteria decision analysis tools were studied in order to assess their ability to generate pathogen-product combination ranked lists according to measurements across four major factors using Canadian data: public health, market level impact, consumer risk perception and acceptance, and social sensitivity. The inherent imprecision, indetermination and uncertainty of the estimates of performance on each criterion was effectively modeled by Outranking Methods and the NAIADE method by means of fuzzy ranking relations. 'Campylobacter ' in Chicken, 'Salmonella' in Chicken and ' Escherichia coli' O157:H7 in Beef consistently ranked highest overall priority. This information can aid decision makers to make science-based decisions about whether or not scarce resources should be allocated for increased management or regulation of any one pathogen-product combination over another using a structured, reconstructible and transparent methodology. Outranking Methods were demonstrated to have the best expandability, ranking credibility and degree of interaction with the decision maker.