Cost Estimates of Foodborne Illnesses
The Cost Estimates of Foodborne Illnesses data product provides detailed data about the costs of major foodborne illnesses in the United States, updating and extending previous ERS research. This data set includes the following:
- Detailed identification of specific disease outcomes for foodborne infections caused by 15 major pathogens in the United States
- Associated outpatient and inpatient expenditures on medical care
- Associated lost wages
- Estimates of individuals’ willingness to pay to reduce mortality resulting from these foodborne illnesses acquired in the United States.
Disease outcomes include both acute illness and chronic disease that sometimes follow these acute illnesses. These 15 pathogens account for over 95 percent of the illnesses and deaths from foodborne illnesses acquired in the United States for which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can identify a pathogen cause. These estimates build on CDC estimates of the incidence of foodborne disease; peer-reviewed synthesis of data on medical costs, and economic, medical and epidemiological literature; and publicly available data on wages. In 2018 dollars, the economic burden of these pathogens was about $17.6 billion, an increase of about $2 billion, or 13 percent, over the 2013 ERS estimate of $15.5 billion.
This data product provides Federal agencies such as USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) with a set of consistent, peer-reviewed estimates of the costs of foodborne illness that can be used in analyzing the impact of Federal regulation. It also provides other stakeholders and the general public with a means of understanding the relative impact of different foodborne infections in the United States. Cost estimates of foodborne illnesses have been used in the past to help inform food-safety policy discussions, and these updated cost estimates will provide a foundation for economic analysis of food safety policy.
This product consists of 15 Excel files detailing disease outcomes for each pathogen together with associated costs, technical notes and documentation, and links to associated research projects and publications.
Errata: On January 29, 2021, the Vibrio other Excel file (calculated in 2013 dollars) was updated to correct the total cost of illness. No other data were affected.