Developing and Applying a Descriptive Framework for Analyzing Food Safety Resources

The researchers will develop a descriptive framework for public health-oriented analysis of food safety resources. The researchers will use the framework to describe and analyze federal food safety expenditures comprehensively and will apply it on a pilot basis to selected states and localities. Development of the framework will necessitate addressing the following research questions: 1) How should government food safety expenditures be organized into functional categories that enable the evaluation of resource allocation from a public health perspective? 2) Can actual food safety expenditure data be translated into these public health-oriented categories in a way that is feasible and useful for policymakers? 3) How are federal food safety resources allocated across these public health-oriented categories? 4) What are the recent trends in federal food safety expenditures across the system and across these public health-oriented categories, including federal allocations to state and local agencies? 5) How does the current federal resource allocation compare with what data and expert judgment suggest about opportunities to reduce risk across the system? 6) Can the framework be feasibly and usefully applied to state and local expenditures, taking into account budget data availability and the large number of individual agencies? 7) For a pilot set of states and localities, how are current food safety resources allocated across public health-oriented categories? and 8) What budgetary practices of government agencies foster or impede understanding and analysis of food safety expenditures from a public health perspective? The objective of this project is to provide policymakers with a tool for describing and analyzing government food safety expenditures on a system-wide basis and in ways that are relevant to reducing food borne illness.