Risk Assessment for Food Safety: Application and Evaluation of HACCP in Hog Slaughter and Processing
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Under new regulations issued in July 1996, the federal government requires meat processors to put hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems in place, to conduct periodic tests for microbial pathogens, and to reduce the incidence of pathogens. The new regulations shift greater responsibility for deciding how to improve food safety in the processing sector to processors themselves. The intent of the new regulation is to promote more efficient resource allocation in food safety improvement by reducing inputs in control and improving food safety outcomes. This study evaluates the marginal costs and effectiveness of HACCP and technologies designed to reduce pathogen contamination of product. An economic optimization model and preliminary data show costs of pathogen control rise with increased levels of control, although the costs of intervention per carcass are small in comparison to total costs of processing. By looking at the plant process with technology-specific data, this study obtains improved estimates of the cost-effectiveness of improvements in the food safety of meat processing. The research addresses the need for information about the marginal costs and benefits of controlling pathogens in pork slaughter and processing, the costs and efficiency of HACCP, and the need to improve risk assessment methods related to improved pork food safety at the processing level in the food chain.