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Abstract

The potential impacts of a food safety event on consumer demand for meat is of significant concern to producers, packers, processors, retail businesses, and the USDA. This study investigates whether publicized food safety information from the printed media on beef, pork, and poultry, impacts the demand for these commodities. A four commodity complete demand system is employed using monthly household level data on meat purchases collected by the Nielsen Company, with separate food safety indices incorporated for beef, pork, and poultry. Results from the analysis indicate that consumers purchase relatively high levels of pre-committed quantities of pork, chicken, and turkey, while beef consumption appears to be primarily from supernumerary expenditures. The results also indicate that seasonal demand patterns are statistically significant in explaining the quantity of meat and poultry demanded. However, the food safety variables are not jointly statistically significant from zero.

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