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Economic Incentives for Innovation: E. coli O157:H7 in US Beef

  • Tanya RobertsEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)

Abstract

The 1993 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in hamburger inspired innovation in both the US public and private sectors. The Food Safety and Inspection Service in US Department of Agriculture declared E. coli O157:H7 an “adulterant” in 1994 and required meat and poultry companies to design and implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems to control foodborne pathogens in 1996. In response to the outbreak and new regulations, companies invented the Bacterial Pathogen Sampling and Testing Program for the hamburger patty production line as well as steam pasteurization of sides of beef at the end of the slaughter line. These innovations were profitable to the inventors. The increased pressure by regulators to control pathogens also provided incentives for pathogen control, including the incentive of sales to USDA’s National School Lunch Program. One company did not comply, had an outbreak, and sold off its beef plants.

Keywords

E. coli O157 Food safety Pathogen testing Beef carcass steam pasteurization Process verification Innovation Research and development Adulteration Economic incentives Texas American Foodservice, Inc. HACCP 

Abbreviations

APC

Aerobic plate counts

ARS

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service

BIFSCo

Beef Industry Food Safety Council

BPSTP

Bacterial Pathogen Sampling and Testing Program

BSPS

Beef steam pasteurization system

BSPS-SC

BSPS-Static Chamber unit

CCP

Critical control point

CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

DOJ

US Department of Justice

ERS

Economic Research Service

FDA

US Food and Drug Administration

FSIS

Food Safety and Inspection Service

HACCP

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point

HUS

Hemolytic uremic syndrome

IAFP

International Association for Food Protection

KSU

Kansas State University

MOU

Memorandum of understanding

NCBA

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

NSLP

National School Lunch Program

OIG

Office of Inspector General/USDA

PR

Pathogen reduction

STEC

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli

STOP

Safe Tables Our Priority

US

United States

USDA

US Department of Agriculture

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economic Research Service, USDA (retired)Center for Foodborne Illness Research and PreventionVashonUSA

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