<ol> <li>Evaluation of a pathway diagram in determining potential areas of contamination where impact is greatest.
<li>Determine the population numbers and types of Salmonella spp. found at points of uncertainty (decision nodes) and how they could be used as indicators of process control or loss.
<li>Evaluate strategies for communication accuracy and efficiency related to risk in communication between industry and consumers.
<li>Evaluate psychological factors that prevent intentional contamination in a production facility.
<li>Estimate the economic impact and cost-effective management strategy of unintentional versus intentional contamination on the turkey industry and US consumers.
<li> Use the information obtained from objectives 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 together. </ol>
Evaluate the likelihood of a deliberate adulteration event at each decision node and the economic consequences of each adulteration point identified. b) Assess cost-effective risk mitigation strategies by determining points along the production line where the implementation of intervention strategies will have the greatest impact on risk reduction. c) Build a producer-friendly simulation model that producer groups can use to incorporate preventative food safety measures which will be useful in evaluating the economic potential of up-streaming and securing production control in the food chain, to ensure safety and security of the food supply to avoid risk associated with contamination, thus monopolizing value-added processing opportunities. d) Use the data obtained to continue building our database and model which will be made available to other researchers working in risk analysis and assessment. The information from the study will be used to address avoidance in relation to contamination. e) Aim to strengthen the nation's agricultural work force and partner with our fellow researchers, educators, and stakeholders in addressing the FS risk assessment expertise gap. Specifically, we intend to develop educational materials and a conference in food safety risk assessment.
There is little information on the risk of human illness associated with food products from "farm to fork". This study will use previously obtained data and additional data to determine risk of foodborne illness associated with poultry all along the food chain.
Approach to the objectives are described: 1) Evaluation of a pathway diagram in determining potential areas of contamination where impact is greatest. This will involve complete design of a decision tree (event tree) for production in order to evaluate critical points where contamination could occur. 2) Determine the population numbers and types of Salmonella spp. found at points of uncertainty (decision nodes) and how they could be used as indicators of process control or loss. Sampling will be carried out at regular intervals (monthly, for a period of approximately 9 - 10 months) to determine the incidence and initial numbers of Salmonella occurring on poultry at the farm, those presented for processing and at retail level. This study will also evaluate current control procedures used in the plant and model them on a laboratory scale to determine how reduction in pathogens occurs and what additional strategies and technologies could be implemented to further reduce pathogens of concern using methods such heat, chlorine, etc. in an effort to identify indicator sites on the line which could be used to indicate loss of control. 3) Evaluate strategies for communication accuracy and efficiency related to risk in communication between industry and consumers. This study will focus on risk communication and crisis prevention. An extensive review of relevant case studies will be compiled to identify best practices in industry communication regarding food safety issues. The best practices will be translated into a model of effective communication during food safety crises where consumers are at risk. A template of effective communication will be developed and sample messages will be tested on select audiences using an experimental design. 4) Evaluate psychological factors that prevent intentional contamination in a production facility. An investigation of psychological factors that can prevent intentional (deliberate) contamination of food is based upon the premise that food production workers can have a large impact on the prevention of food contamination. Two models of the workers' actions on the production line have been developed that explain how workers can prevent contamination as well as promote food safety in general. 5) Estimate the economic impact and cost-effective management strategy of unintentional versus intentional contamination on the turkey industry and US consumers. A stochastic production function will be estimated with dummy variables for alternative prevalence level (low prevalence, average or normal prevalence, high prevalence and extremely high prevalence -intentional contamination of Salmonella in turkey processing). 6)Use the information obtained from objectives 1 to 5 together to summarize data obtained a)Microbial Quantitative Risk Assessment, b)Determine Optimum Cost-effective Intervention Strategies, c) Build a producer friendly model, d) Use the data to add to the current database, e) Risk assessment education.
In this third project we propose to continue the work of the first two projects in addressing issues of Salmonella contamination of production turkeys and the risk for human illness. This third phase of the project has been expanded to include aspects of farm studies where contamination begins as well as additonal studies which will also focus on issues of contamination levels in retail product. In examining Salmonella populations at these points of production we will gain an understanding of the dynamics and changes that can occur in turkey production. Other studies will examine Salmonella at specific points during processing - such as defeathering where cross contamination between carcasses is significant. Further analyses (using molecular techniques such as PFGE and multiplex PCR) to determine the influence of processing and the selection of serotypes or pathogenic strains will also be carried out. Our agricultural economists are further investigating applications of value at risk and various other risk analyses methods to better improve the safety of poultry at the farm and retail levels. Our epidemiologist is involved in determining the risks of Salmonella from data obtained and its relationship to syndromic surveillance systems for human illness. Our psychologists are focusing the next phase of their research on studying behaviors of food handlers and food preparers (consumers) to test refinements of their currently developed models of intentional and motivational behavior. They also plan additional surveys of plant personnel to determine how a culture of safety may facilitate workers intentions and behavior as related to food safety. Our communications experts are focused on best practices in food safety crisis communication and are preparing a book for publication. We anticipate that this third phase will also result in the development of a meeting and program where we will invite researchers to discuss risk in relation to food safety. The aim of this meeting is to promote and create an environment where researchers can unite and share ideas and research. This meeting aims to foster closer alliances between researchers at NDSU and other institutions with international leaders and researchers. One expected outcome from such a meeting will be discussion and policy debate on the direction of risk assessment and food safety for the future.
The research proposed in this project will continue to allow us gain an understanding of the risk of Salmonella in relation to turkey production. Our studies will not only focus on the microbiological risk but on the influence of additional factors such as human elements and communication. We anticipate that our research will form the basis for future ventures and alliances in risk research.