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HYGRAM - semiquantitative model for assessment of most important hygienic and microbiological hazards in companies

Hygram®-2.0. is a semiquantitative model for assessment of most important hygienic (and microbiological) hazards in companies. It has been developed in cooperation between the Finnish Food Safety Authority EVIRA and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. It was finalized in 2007. In addition to research parties, Tekes, Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and industry have financed the work. This practical tool is available for free on this site.

Hygram®-2.0. is based on the previous Hygram® version developed by EVIRA, VTT and Department of food and environmental hygiene at Helsinki University. A scientific article has been published about the model in 2003 (Tuominen, P., Hielm, S., Aarnisalo, K., Raaska, R., Maijala, R. 2003. Trapping the food safety performance of a small or medium-sized food company using a risk-based model. The HYGRAM® system. Food Control 14, 573-578.). Hundreds of people have registered as users of the HYGRAM® system.

The model construction includes parts of microbiological risk assessment as modules, and it familiarizes the user to basics of risk assessment. In the module where background information is collected, questions on identification of hazards are also presented. A databank includes descriptions of 14 microbiological hazards. The modules where hygienic practices, microbiological or other hazards are assessed, mainly account for the exposure assessment part of risk assessment. Risk estimates are presented as tables and illustrative figures.

The new version is applicable to different sectors and levels of food chain for identification and assessment of risks and assessment and development of own-checking plans and HACCP-systems. Additionally it can be used in training, documentation of audits and inspections and in collecting information for scientific research purposes.

The new model includes own modules for retail shops and institutional kitchens. A possibility to build a HACCP-system is included. Additionally the new model included modules for assessment of traceability, viruses (norovirus) and physical and chemical risks. In developing the new version, special attention has been paid to user friendliness.

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Additional information

Satu Salo
Senior Scientist
+358 20 722 7121
satu.salo@vtt.fi