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Identifying the Most Significant Microbiological Foodborne Hazards to Public Health: A New Risk Ranking Model


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  • Krupnick, Alan

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Taylor, Michael
  • Batz, Michael

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Hoffmann, Sandra

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Tick, Jody
  • Morris, Glenn
  • Sherman, Diane


In order to help facilitate a risk-based food safety system, we developed the Foodborne Illness Risk Ranking Model (FIRRM), a decisionmaking tool that quantifies and compares the relative burden to society of 28 foodborne pathogens. FIRRM estimates the annual number of cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities caused by each foodborne pathogen, subsequently estimates the economic costs and QALY losses of these illnesses, and, lastly, attributes these pathogen-specific illnesses and costs to categories of food vehicles, based on outbreak data and expert judgment. The model ranks pathogen-food combinations according to five measures of societal burden. FIRRM incorporates probabilistic uncertainty within a Monte Carlo simulation framework and produces confidence intervals and statistics for all outputs. Gaps in data, most importantly in regards to food attribution and the statistical uncertainty of incidence estimates, currently limit the utility of the model. Once we address these and other problems, however, FIRRM will be a robust and useful decisionmaking tool.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-frsc-dp-01.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-frsc-dp-01

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Related research

Keywords: foodborne illness; risk ranking; pathogens; health valuation; QALYs; cost of illness; uncertainty; modeling; Monte Carlo;

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  1. Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper & Alan Krupnick & Nathalie B. Simon, 2004. "Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: Does Latency Matter?," NCEE Working Paper Series 200401, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Feb 2004.
  2. Buzby, Jean C. & Roberts, Tanya & Lin, Chung-Tung Jordan & MacDonald, James M., 1996. "Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses," Agricultural Economics Reports 33991, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Krupnick, Alan & Cropper, Maureen & Alberini, Anna & Heintzelman, Martin & Simon, Nathalie & O'Brien, Bernie & Goeree, Ron, 2000. "Age, Health, and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Ontario Residents," Discussion Papers dp-00-37, Resources For the Future.
  4. Janusz R. Mrozek & Laura O. Taylor, 2002. "What determines the value of life? a meta-analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 253-270.
  5. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Julie A. Caswell, 2008. "Expanding the Focus of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Food Safety: A Multi-Factorial Risk Prioritization Approach," Working Papers 2008-8, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  2. Taylor, Michael & Batz, Michael & Tauxe, Robert & Morris, Glenn & Doyle, Michael & Painter, John & Singh, Ruby & Lo Fo Wong, Danilo, 2004. "Linking Illness to Food: Summary of a Workshop on Food Attribution," Discussion Papers dp-fsrc-dp-02, Resources For the Future.


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