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Risk communication of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment during a food-related outbreak



Risk communication of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment during a food-related outbreak



Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz 56(1): 102-109



Information about and explanation of risks as well as the initiation of behavioral changes and preventive actions are core tasks of risk communication. During the EHEC/HUS outbreak in spring 2011, the governmental agencies responsible for risk communication mainly focused on these tasks. In general, risk communication is understood as a continuous, long-term process that aims at an adequate handling of risks. In contrast, crisis communication is focused rather on an acute event and aims at timely information and behavioral measures. During the EHEC/HUS outbreak, risk communication partly changed over to crisis communication. The risk communication activities of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitüt für Risikobewertung, BfR) during the EHEC/HUS outbreak are presented here. The results of a representative survey that was conducted in Germany shortly after the outbreak show details of the success of these risk communication activities. Finally, the necessity of communication about scientific uncertainty is addressed and new ways in risk communication with regard to new media are highlighted.

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Accession: 055578653

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23275962

DOI: 10.1007/s00103-012-1589-x


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