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World Health Stat Q. 1997;50(1-2):57-66.

Economic costs and trade impacts of microbial foodborne illness.


This article presents the economic costs of foodborne diseases for selected countries, the approaches used to calculate these costs, and a discussion on the interaction between microbial food safety issues and international trade in food. The human illness costs due to foodborne pathogens are estimated most completely in the United States of America, where, each year, 7 foodborne pathogens (Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli O157:H7. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Toxoplasma gondii) cause an estimated 3.3-12.3 million cases of foodborne illness and up to 3900 deaths. These 7 pathogens are found in animal products and cost the United States an estimated $6.5-$34.9 billion (1995 US$) annually. The presence of foodborne pathogens in a country's food supply not only affects the health of the local population, but also represents a potential for spread to pathogens to visitors to the country and to consumers in countries which import food products. With more complete data on foodborne illnesses, deaths, costs and international trade rejections in each country, indicators could be developed by which changes in food safety can be monitored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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