UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

John Bovay, University of Connecticut

Producer Response to Public Disclosure of Food-Safety Information

Date and Location

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
Giannini Library Conference Room, 4101 Social Sciences and Humanities

Abstract

Beginning in 2003, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) put forth a series of Federal Register announcements regarding the public disclosure of results of tests for Salmonella in chicken carcasses. In particular, FSIS announced in 2003 that it would disclose the identities of plants failing its Salmonella tests if test performance did not improve, introduced a measure of food-safety quality and again threatened public disclosure in 2006, and publicly reported the names of plants with poor performance starting in 2008. This article examines the effect of these actions on Salmonella test outcomes. We find that (1) announcements of possible changes to public disclosure requirements in 2003 had a strong effect on the poorest-performing plants, (2) the introduction of a measure of food-safety quality and FSIS repeating the threat of possible changes to public disclosure requirements in 2006 improved the performance of all plants, and (3) implementation of a public disclosure program in 2008 led to improvements among better-performing plants.

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