This project has arisen because of the Hepatitis A outbreak possibly associated with oysters at Wallis Lakes, 1997. Food safety issues are regarded by sea food industry as a major threat. While the majority of industry can see the benefit of implementing food safety plans others are still to be convinced. The hepatitis outbreak offers a unique opportunity to determine the cost both socially and economically of a major disease outbreak, its impact on consumers, and the economic benefit of effective food safety plans. The need for the project is:
1. to quantify the economic cost to the industry as a result of reduced market acceptance for oysters products;
2. to determine the extent that the outbreak impacted on other seafood products both from Wallis lakes and other sources;
3. the development of this economic analysis will allow the industry to assess the risk associated with addressing food safety issues;
4. to provide the basis for ABARE’s presentation to Outlook 98, which can be further extended to industry as a case study; and,
5. additionally, the project will act as a vehicle as part of FRDC's sponsorship of the fisheries outlook session of the 98 Outlook conference .