Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli 0157) outbreak in the Pacific Northwest early in 1993 catalyzed a shift in public opinion concerning foodborne disease risks. Media attention and public concern about microbial contamination has continued, bolstered by additional E. coli O157 and Salmonella outbreaks. The shift in public opinion stimulated a public policy change. Recognition of the shared responsibility along the entire farm to table continuum has stimulated research on the application of prevention and control methodologies along the entire food chain. One such application is Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point (HACCP). It is a system which identifies specific hazard(s) and preventative measures for their control. Seven principles are applied in the development of HACCP plans. Under this system, if a deviation occurs indicating that control has been lost, the deviation is detected and appropriate steps are taken to reestablish control in a timely manner to assure that potential hazards are eliminated. Implementation of HACCP has occurred most often in the food production arena. Consequently, attention has been focused on pathogen identification at the farm level and on identification of "food-safe" farm management strategies where applicable which now includes implementation of the HACCP system. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the challenges of identifying pathogens at the farm level and determining the relative impact of specific farm management strategies.