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Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses

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Author Info

  • Buzby, Jean C.
  • Roberts, Tanya
  • Lin, Chung-Tung Jordan
  • MacDonald, James M.

Abstract

Microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 6.5-33 million cases of human illness and up to 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Over 40 different foodborne microbial pathogens, including fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, are believed to cause human illnesses. For six bacterial pathogens, the costs of human illness are estimated to be $9.3-$12.9 billion annually. Of these costs, $2.9-$6.7 billion are attributed to foodborne bacteria. These estimates were developed to provide analytical support for USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems rule for meat and poultry. (Note that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is not included in this report.) To estimate medical costs and productivity losses, ERS uses four severity categories for acute illnesses: those who did not visit a physician, visited a physician, were hospitalized, or died prematurely. The lifetime consequences of chronic disease are included in the cost estimates for E. coli O157:H7 and fetal listeriosis.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/33991
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Agricultural Economics Reports with number 33991.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:33991

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Related research

Keywords: cost-of-illness; foodborne pathogens; lost productivity; medical costs; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy;

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  1. Shogren, Jason F., 1993. "Experimental Markets And Environmental Policy," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 22(2), October.
  2. Hayes, Dermot J. & Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Youll & Kliebenstein, James, 1995. "Valuing Food Safety in Experimental Auction Markets," Staff General Research Papers 835, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Harrington, Winston & Portney, Paul R., 1987. "Valuing the benefits of health and safety regulation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 101-112, July.
  4. Ann Fisher & Lauraine G. Chestnut & Daniel M. Violette, 1989. "The value of reducing risks of death: A note on new evidence," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 88-100.
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