Fight for Food Safety
Fight for Food Safety

Giving tax incentives for testing

As government and industry strive to improve the safety of our food supply, not a day goes by when we don’t hear about more legislation, added regulation and new policy.

How about newly created tax incentives?

Although FSIS oversight has substantially improved the safety of our food supply, the regulatory system under which we operate in some ways disincentivizes food safety.

In the absence of any single solution to guarantee the elimination of pathogens from food, the best way to control pathogens is to design effective interventions, validate those interventions, and perform verification testing on affected products. The problem in the beef industry, however, is that looking for and then finding pathogens can be extremely expensive.

At the harvest level, establishments that test trimmings are required to divert positive product to cooking or rendering. Common sense tells us that the more companies test, the more pathogens they will find, the more product they will divert and the more revenue they will lose. Unfortunately, this may be viewed by some within industry as an incentive to avoid finding contamination which may in fact exist. This of course can also put any companies which are testing appropriately and aggressively at a competitive disadvantage.

At the processing level, where testing is not mandated, many companies have nevertheless put in place finished product testing programs as a means to further enhance safety. When contamination is found, however, difficult decisions must be made regarding which products are potentially affected and how they will be disposed. Here too, such decisions can be very costly.

One solution to overcome the financial deterrent to testing and diverting positive products is to reward companies that are aggressively testing. Congress should consider creating additional tax incentives for testing, research and quality control, and also create meaningful tax credits which would extend to any positive products diverted from their original intended use.

Such a system would accomplish multiple goals. Not only would our food become safer, but by reducing production costs through the use of tax credits and incentives to offset losses from positive product, our food supply would become more plentiful and affordable as well.A 

 

Recent Articles by Shawn Stevens

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Podcasts

Brenneman analyzes Butterball’s new animal care, well-being program

Rod Brenneman, CEO of Butterball, discusses his company's new Animal Care and Well-Being Program, his company's certification by the American Humane Association and further animal-handling initiatives, all officially announced in September 2013.

More Podcasts

National Provisioner

cover

January 2015

The first NP issue of 2015 features January's cover story: Certified Angus Beef; as well as How to Respond to a Food Crisis, Pep in Poultry’s Step, and so much more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Independent Processor

f

December 2014

The December issue of IP features cover story: A full Haus, Mike Sloan’s award-winning bratwursts draw visitors to the Hermann Wurst Haus by the thousands.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Provisioner Store

NP-SB-2014Cover.jpg
The National Provisioner Source Book

The Sourcebook is an exclusive buyer’s guide and reference tool for product and supplier information in the meat, poultry and seafood marketplace.

More Products

Sourcebook

A complete reference guide to supplies. Go to NP's Sourcebook now to check out the latest and greatest in the meat and poultry processing business.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook icon Twitter icon  YouTube iconLinkedIn icon google +

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.