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Abstract

For many decades, fresh fruits and vegetables enjoyed a reputation as the healthiest products full of essential vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial substances for a balanced diet. However, numerous recent food outbreaks associated with fresh produce have raised concerns on the mind of the consumer. Following an outbreak, consumers reduce their immediate consumption of the affected products. Even tough fresh fruits and vegetables have unique characteristics and flavors, consumers tend to substitute affected outbreak products with other fruits and vegetables. The potential impact of food borne illness on consumption has also a longer term impact, reducing consumption of the products over a period of several months after the outbreak. This paper used historical decomposition analysis to study both, the contemporaneous and lagged effects of food borne illness in the fresh produce industry using three case studies, spinach, cantaloupes, and tomatoes.

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