Author(s): Liu Y, Wein LM
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Abstract We derive mathematical expressions for the mean number of casualties resulting from a deliberate release of a biological or chemical agent into a food supply chain. Our analysis first computes the amount of contaminated food as a function of the network topology and vessel sizes in the food processing plant. A probabilistic analysis, in which each potential consumer of contaminated food has his own random purchase time, infectious dose, and incubation period, determines the number of people who consume enough tainted food to get infected or poisoned before the attack is detected and food consumption is halted. These simple formulas can be used by the U.S. government and the food industry to develop a rough-cut prioritization of the threats from food terrorism, which would be a 1st step toward the allocation of appropriate prevention and mitigation resources.
This article was published in J Food Sci
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense