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Optimal Levels of Inputs to Control Listeria monocytogenes Contamination at a Smoked Fish Plant


  • Tauer, Loren W.
  • Nightingale, Cameron
  • Ivanek, Renata
  • Wiedmann, Martin


Reducing the incidence of listeriosis from contaminated food has significant social health benefits, but reduction requires the use of additional or higher quality inputs at higher costs. We estimate the impact of three inputs in a food processing plant on the prevalence of L. monocytogenes contaminated finished cold smoked salmon. These three inputs were non-contamination of the raw fish fillets, non-contamination of the plant environment, and rate of glove changes on workers. We then estimate the levels of these inputs to use such that the marginal cost of these inputs become equal to the increased social health benefit of reduction in human listeriosis. Since the costs of these inputs are borne by the food processing plant, which may not be able to secure a higher product price because of asymmetric information, we show how social sub-optimal use of these inputs may result.

Suggested Citation

  • Tauer, Loren W. & Nightingale, Cameron & Ivanek, Renata & Wiedmann, Martin, 2005. "Optimal Levels of Inputs to Control Listeria monocytogenes Contamination at a Smoked Fish Plant," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19423, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19423

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kuchler, Fred & Golan, Elise H., 1999. "Assigning Values To Life: Comparing Methods For Valuing Health Risks," Agricultural Economics Reports 34037, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Jensen, Helen H. & Unnevehr, Laurian J. & Gómez, Miguel I., 1998. "Costs of Improving Food Safety in the Meat Sector," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 83-94, July.
    3. Scott A. Malcolm & Clare A. Narrod & Tanya Roberts & Michael Ollinger, 2004. "Evaluating the economic effectiveness of pathogen reduction technologies in cattle slaughter plants," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 109-123.
    4. Helen H. Jensen & Laurian J. Unnevehr & Miguel I. Gomez, 1998. "Costs of Improving Food Safety in the Meat Sector, The," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 98-wp189, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    5. Just, Richard E. & Pope, Rulon D., 1978. "Stochastic specification of production functions and economic implications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 67-86, February.
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