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Ground beef recalls and subsequent food safety performance

Michael Ollinger and Matthew Houser

Food Policy, 2020, vol. 97, issue C

Abstract: The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service recalled more than 370 million pounds of meat and poultry products and oversaw 680 Class 1 recalls over 1998–2014. The cost to firms was about $109 million in lost market value (Pozo and Schroeder, 2016). Thomsen and McKenzie (2001) argue that firms internalize the costs of recalls, and Marino (1997) asserts that high food safety costs lead to food safety investment, but no research has examined the impact of recalls on plant food safety performance. Using performance on tests for Salmonella conducted by the Food Safety Inspection Service as a measure of food safety, this article examines the performance on Salmonella tests of ground beef plants with Class 1 recalls. The results show that plants have high Salmonella levels before and during the year of the recall and have much lower levels afterward. The paper also shows that ground beef plants with recalls are less likely to meet the FSIS standard for Salmonella and that the likelihood of failing to meet the standard increases as the standard becomes more stringent.

Keywords: Food recalls; Food safety; FSIS Salmonella standard; Ground beef; Salmonella levels; Food safety regulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Ground Beef Recalls and Subsequent Food Safety Performance (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101971

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