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Slaughterhouse Rules: Animal Uniformity and Regulating for Food Safety in Meat Packing

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  • David A. Hennessy

Abstract

Meat retailers express demand for a more uniform product, and technical innovations are allowing an increasingly uniform supply. Packers can promote uniformity through pre-slaughter sorting, or earlier through contracts. Emphasizing effort on the packing line, we develop a model whereby packers gain from carcass handling efficiencies when animal uniformity increases. Whether optimally regulated or not, equilibrium food safety declines with increased uniformity. A line speed regulation can increase welfare in the presence of food safety externalities by reducing the opportunity cost of allocating effort toward promoting food safety. The regulation also reduces packer demand for more uniform animals. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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  • David A. Hennessy, 2005. "Slaughterhouse Rules: Animal Uniformity and Regulating for Food Safety in Meat Packing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 600-609.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:87:y:2005:i:3:p:600-609
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2005.00750.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Diana Stuart & Michelle Worosz, 2012. "Risk, anti-reflexivity, and ethical neutralization in industrial food processing," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 29(3), pages 287-301, September.
    2. Link, David J. & Almas, Lal K. & Brown, Michael S. & Lawrence, Ty E., 2011. "The Beneficial Impact of Sorting Heavy Cattle at Re-Implant," 2011 Annual Meeting, February 5-8, 2011, Corpus Christi, Texas 98732, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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