S54 Information and the Creation of Positive Economic Incentives for Food Safety Performance

Tuesday, August 2, 2016: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
240 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Primary Contact: Tanya Roberts
Organizers: Tanya Roberts , Robert Scharff and Carl Custer
Convenor: Tanya Roberts
If consumers had full information about where their food came from and which products were making them ill, there would be substantial incentives for food firms to implement optimal food safety controls. For example, when food is home-grown the farmer’s family bears the cost of any foodborne illness and the source of the illness is more likely to be known, leading to ideal food safety choices. Alternatively, in a modern market economy with a global supply chain, the possibility of finding the ultimate source of foodborne illness can be remote, resulting in reduced incentives to provide safe food for each link in the global supply chain. This session explores the critical role that information plays in providing economic incentives to improve performance at each link.

New technologies, new legal/regulatory authority and heightened consumer demand for safer foods are changing the way that food companies view and respond to food safety.  As public authorities have developed methods to better link illnesses to foods at the point of sale, the costs (in fines, litigation, and reputation) to associated brands have risen. Some food companies are responding to the challenges and opportunities that better information presents with novel supply chain contracts (such as those encouraged by the Global Food Safety Initiative) that improve traceability and accountability for all actors.  Critical to any of these supply chain contracts is the proper identification of hazards, especially for high-risk foods and practices, as well as for the interventions used to control contamination.  These data are critical to strengthening economic incentives for adoption of improved, science-based food safety practices; as well as to provide incentives for investment in research and development to invent new and improved food safety systems.


4:10 PM
Economic Incentives for Capacity Building in Food Safety
Clare Narrod, University of Maryland; Mark Miller, University of Maryland
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