Wageningen Helps Fight Salmonella in Pork Chain

NETHERLANDS - Cost savings of up to 83 per cent can be made by implementing the right salmonella controls on farm and in the slaughterhouse, according to research carried out at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI) and the University of Minnesota.
calendar icon 20 February 2009
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The European Union wants to formulate objectives regarding the presence of salmonella in beef cattle and meat. Pork chains in most European countries currently have no formal control system covering the entire chain, nor any systems that reward or punish farmers for the extent to which their beef cattle is infected with the bacteria, reports Wageningen University Research. Together with his American colleague Rob King, Wageningen's Gé Backus has published an academic paper in the European Review of Agricultural Economics. In this paper, they address this issue with a model approach which looks at various control systems and reward packages.

The research demonstrates that a combination of a control system at slaughterhouse level and a payment system that stimulates the pig farmer to supply slaughter pigs with no or low levels of infection leads to considerably lower costs than simpler systems. Depending on the circumstances, a reduction in costs of 28 per cent to 83 per cent can be expected. With this academic paper, the authors are building upon previous work that also appeared in this prominent publication. They are also working ahead in anticipation of a cost-benefit analysis of the measure that the EU has yet to make.


Backus G.B.C. and R.P. King. 2008. Producer incentives and plant investments for Salmonella control in pork supply chains. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 35: (4) 547–562.

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