Food Safety Magazine

News | October 2014

Estimated Annual Cost of Foodborne Illness in the U.S. Tops $15 Billion

By Staff


A new report released by the USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates the cost of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. tops $15.6 billion.

Fifteen major pathogens that are responsible for more than 95 percent of foodborne-related illnesses were examined. Building upon existing research, this new data focuses on the costs of inpatient medical care, outpatient expenses, estimates of individuals' health care costs to improve their condition, lost wages and continue evaluation of foodborne infections. 

Salmonella, with treatment costs estimated at $3.6 billion, is the most expensive pathogen related to cases of foodborne illness. Others topping the list include Listeria monocytogenes ($2.8 billion) and Escherichia coli ($271 million). 

See the full report at


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