Influence of Salmonella in pigs preharvest and during pork processing on human health costs and risks from pork

Gay Y. Miller, Xuanli Liu, Paul E. McNamara, David A. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Salmonellosis in humans is a costly disease traditionally assumed to be associated with exposure to contaminated food. We have developed a farm-to-fork model that allows estimation of the human health costs and risks associated with Salmonella in pork. This analysis focuses on the stages of the pork production chain up to the point of producing a chilled pork carcass. The model predicts the number of human cases of Salmonellosis associated with pork (mean, 99,430; 90% confidence interval, 20,970 to 245,560) and the corresponding social costs (mean, $81.53 million; 90% confidence interval, $18.75 million to $197.44 million). Sensitivity and scenario analyses suggest that changes in Salmonella status during processing are more important for human health risk and have a higher benefit:cost ratio when compared with on-farm strategies for Salmonella control. Specifically, benefit:cost ratios are less than 1 (indicating they are not likely to be profitable from a social economic perspective) for the on-farm strategies of vaccination and meal feeding, whereas rinsing carcasses at various temperatures with and without sanitizer all have benefit:cost ratios greater than 1 (indicating they are profitable from a social economic perspective). This type of modeling is useful for evaluation of the relative cost effectiveness of interventions at different points in the food chain when allocating limited food safety dollars and is best used for examining trends and alternative strategies rather than for providing definitive dollar value estimates of risk. The dollar value estimates must be considered in the context of the wide confidence intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1788-1798
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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