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ERS Releases Foodborne Illness Cost Estimates

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) released 2013 cost estimates of U.S. foodborne illnesses. The data builds upon previous ERS research and provides a detailed overview of the costs of 15 major pathogens that account for more than 95 percent of foodborne-related illnesses and deaths in the U.S. The data set includes expenditures related to outpatient and inpatient medical care; estimates of individuals' willingness to pay to reduce mortality after contracting a foodborne illness; assessments of lost wages; and disease outcomes for the studied foodborne infections. According to ERS estimates, Salmonella proved most costly, with treatment expenses approximated at more than $3.6 billion. Among other major pathogens, E. coli cost more than $271 million, whereas Listeria monocytogenes cost an estimated $2.8 billion. Overall, foodborne illnesses are annually costing the economy more than $15.6 billion. For a detailed cost analysis, including summaries for each of the 15 pathogens, click here.

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