Annual Cost of Foodborne Illness in US: $152 Billionby sterling1 on Mar 4, 2010 • 2:35 pm No Comments
Thanks to a recent initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, for the first time in American history someone has finally put a price tag on what it costs people in the United States each year who get sick from bad food. After crunching all the numbers, the grand total comes to $152 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”). Reaction across the board to this staggering number indicates that this report and finding may do more to move pending food safety legislation through the U.S. Senate — the final hurdle for the current comprehensive food-safety legislation – than any related disclosure in recent memory.
In the release of these findings, statistics were also included from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): …approximately 76 million new cases of food-related illness — resulting in 5,000 deaths and 325,000 hospitalizations — occur in the United States each year.
What’s our interest in this beyond the obvious which is one of personal health and well-being? Simply that product marking, in which we specialize, if done right, can stop and recall bad stuff in its tracks once a problem is detected. Done right, the problem can be traced back to the source. Done right, everyone and anyone in the supply chain and in regulatory bodies gets transparency into how, when, where, why and by whom products are touched as they move, for example, from the tree, field or manufacturing plant, to a person’s table.
Frankly, I’d like to see a Part 2 to this report which would estimate how many fewer people would get sick and how much money would be saved with a comprehensive product tracking and tracing solution covering everything, including produce. Wouldn’t you?
To see the news release about this, which includes links to the full report as well as a list of the most dangerous states in which to eat, go here.
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