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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Research Project #431993

Research Project: Economic Analysis of Food Safety Improvement During Produce Washing and Retail Display

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32420-006-18-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Jul 31, 2021

Objective:
Assess economic costs and benefits of fresh and fresh-cut produce washing technological advancement. To quantify the overall economic costs and benefits of installation of refrigerated display cases with glass doors.

Approach:
Obj. 1. Delineate, quantify, and assess the key economic parameters associated with the benefits and costs of non-immersive fresh-cut wash technologies. Economic data on investment and operating costs of spray systems will be collected through collaboration with McEntire Produce. Fixed costs of adoption, variable costs of operation, and learning time for fine tuning processes will be quantified. Obj. 2. Utilizing proprietary weekly sales data for bagged salads at the store level, statistical comparisons of sales both (i) before and after the introduction of refrigerated displays with glass doors and (ii) across matched stores with new door displays versus those with traditional open displays will be made. Cooperate with industry partners to determine dates and locations of new display installations with glass doors. Propensity score matching models will use the observational data to match stores with door displays to those with no doors. Difference-in-difference regression models on matched samples will be used to estimate the size and statistical significance of the causal effects of door displays on retail sales.