Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2012

Advancing Analysis

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Symposium: Use of Risk Assessment to Meet the Requirements of Healthy People 2020

Room: Pacific Concourse H   10:30 AM - 12 PM

Chair(s): Michael Williams, Neal Golden

Sponsored by MRASG

Healthy People is a consortium of diverse agencies and organizations committed to achieving 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People has established its HP2020 goals for reductions in foodborne illness. One of the goals calls for a 25 percent reduction in the number of salmonellosis cases by the year 2020. Achieving this goal will take a concerted effort by industry, regulatory agencies, and public health officials. This symposium will look at the role of risk assessment in establishing hygienic standards that are sufficiently effective to meet these goals and methods for measuring and monitoring the impact of prevention activities. The speakers include key participants from industry and regulatory agencies. The approaches presented are relevant to situations where multiple agencies and industry partners must integrate their efforts to achieve a common goal.

W2-F.1  10:30  Risk assessment as a means for developing public health strategies to meet FSIS’ Healthy People 2020 Salmonella goal. Golden NJ*, Williams MS, Ebel ED; Risk Assessment Division, Food Safety and Inspection Service

Abstract: The principal aim of a performance standard is to encourage industry to produce a safer product. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has committed itself to meet the Salmonella Healthy People Goal of a 25% reduction in salmonellosis from FSIS-regulated products by 2020. FSIS has linked HP2020 to an Agency-wide strategic plan that estimates that about 414,000 Salmonella illnesses are associated with FSIS-regulated products annually. We estimate a reduction of about 104,000 Salmonella illnesses is necessary for FSIS to reach HP2020. To meet this goal, FSIS is considering a series of performance standards that would equitably provide a 25% reduction from each of the three major food industries regulated by FSIS (e.g., beef, poultry (chicken and turkey), and pork). FSIS recently revised its performance standards for poultry. The Agency is now considering efforts on beef. Using CDC attribution data, we estimate about 7% of the FSIS’ share of Salmonella illnesses are attributed to beef consumption. A streamlined risk assessment was developed to estimate the average number of human illnesses avoided per year necessary to meet the 25% reduction in human illnesses, specifically associated with ground beef. The analysis demonstrates the trade-off between improved public health (i.e., decrease in the number of salmonellosis cases per year) and greater industry compliance to meet stricter performance standards. More strict performance standards (i.e., allowing fewer positive samples to be considered compliant) will classify more establishments as initially non-compliant and serve to motivate those establishments to invest resources to become compliant. Those investments will generate improvements in non-compliant establishments that will, ultimately, reduce human exposures to Salmonella-contaminated ground beef.

W2-F.2  10:50  The magnitude of the problem. Hoekstra RM*, Cole DJ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Abstract: Many Healthy People 2020 food safety goals are defined in terms of achieving a specific percent reduction in types of human illness. Such goals, in order to be credible, require estimates of the numbers or costs of human illnesses for some reference time point and population, the ability to implement interventions in order to reduce those illnesses, and the ability to estimate comparable numbers or costs at the goal point. We describe the process whereby CDC has recently estimated total illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths from a set of major pathogens that are commonly transmitted through food. These estimates have in turn been partitioned into estimated numbers of illnesses associated with an array of food commodities. We focus on the uncertainties attached to the estimates and how these uncertainties figure in translating estimated illnesses to prioritized actions.

W2-F.3  11:10  Polymerase Chain Reaction Screening for Salmonella and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli on Beef Products in Processing Establishments. Samadpour M*; Institute for Environmental Health, Inc.

Abstract: Pathogenic Escherichia coli strains on raw or insufficiently cooked foods are of public health concern as serious disease may result from their ingestion. Therefore, many commercial producers of beef products screen for E. coli O157:H7 before shipment. While Salmonella is not considered an adulterant on raw beef products, it is used as an indication of process control. To detect these microorganisms, rapid screening methods are often used to provide results within 8–24 hours after sampling. During 2005–2008, about 971,389 samples from several commercial beef production plants were tested using a rapid screening method based on the polymerase chain reaction to determine if they were presumptively positive for bacterial cells carrying Salmonella or Shiga toxin–producing E. coli–specific genes. Of the product lots sampled (trim, ground beef, and variety meats), 15% were positive for the stx1 and/or stx2 (Shiga toxin genes), 9.1% for the eae gene (the attaching and effacing gene [eae] encoding intimin), 3.0% for an rfb gene region (encoding the O157-specific O side chain polysaccharide), and 1.67% for Salmonella by the polymerase chain reaction assay. In general, lots of ground beef showed the lowest frequency of contamination, and variety meats (by-products of carcass evisceration), the highest. Overall, 4.6%, 4.6%, and 0.8% samples were screen-positive for enteropathogenic E.coli, enterohemorrhagic E.coli, and E.coli O157, respectively. Of the E.coli O157–positive samples, 14% were also Salmonella positive. The frequency of screen-positive samples increases during the summer months, probably because of the prevalence of climatic conditions more conducive to microbial growth. The presence of fecal organisms in beef products suggests a failure of sanitary controls during processing and the more prevalent relatives of E.coli:O157, Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli, enteropathogenic E.coli, and enterohemorrhagic E.coli, serve as more sensitive indicators of contamination than O157 strains alone.

W2-F.4  11:30  Heuristic technique for rapidly screening the effectiveness of risk management options. Williams MS*, Ebel ED; Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

Abstract: The output of a risk assessment model can be used to quantitatively characterize the uncertainty about the effectiveness of a proposed risk management strategy. Uncertainty about the effectiveness of a risk management option, relative to its cost, is the risk associated with decision-making. In food safety risk management, incremental benefits represent human illnesses prevented following a strategy’s implementation. The economic justification for a particular strategy requires balancing its cost and feasibility with the benefits that accrue from prevented illnesses. A number of different approaches exist to analyze the trade-offs between costs and benefits, but no standard approach is available for linking and assessing the effect of uncertainty about risk assessment outputs with the costs of risk management implementation. This paper outlines a framework and defines a metric, referred to as an effectiveness ratio (ER), which relates a strategy’s benefits with its costs. The ER can also be used as a rapid screening tool to eliminate ineffective risk management options. To illustrate this point, we present three hypothetical slaughter interventions for beef carcasses. For each intervention, we compare the cost and effectiveness of the interventions balanced against the savings associated with a predicted reduction in human illnesses associated with the consumption of beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This example demonstrates how only one intervention is cost neutral to society by meeting effectiveness and economic implementation goals.

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