IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Neoliberalizing food safety and the 2008 Canadian listeriosis outbreak


  • Ken Hatt


  • Kierstin Hatt



This paper examines evidence regarding neoliberalization of the social organization of Canadian food safety from a series of documents produced in response to the Canadian listeriosis outbreak in 2008. The outbreak is described, then interpreted within a neoliberal context, where: (1) neoliberalism operates as an ideology (2) that enables a socio-political and economic strategy within (3) a project pursued by coalitions seeking to consolidate power through (4) a process of neoliberalization. Following Gramsci’s work on power, it is argued that food safety serves as an attractor, organizing consent within a neoliberal context. Testimony before a parliamentary subcommittee, official reviews, an independent investigation, food inspection records, and media reports have been examined to identify the key factors associated with the outbreak and the process of neoliberalization. The events associated with the outbreak are described first, as activities and practices in organizational settings (governance, sanitation, and production), and secondly, as components in a food production network where consent is organized around food safety. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Ken Hatt & Kierstin Hatt, 2012. "Neoliberalizing food safety and the 2008 Canadian listeriosis outbreak," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 29(1), pages 17-28, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:29:y:2012:i:1:p:17-28
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-011-9317-y

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans-Ulrich Derlien & B. Guy Peters, 2008. "Introduction," Chapters,in: The State at Work, Volume 2, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:29:y:2012:i:1:p:17-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.