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Food Poisoning Illnesses Costs US $77 Billion Every Year

January 9, 2012
food poisining illnesses

According to a new study, around 48 million Americans are diagnosed with some type of food poisoning sickness every year.

According to a new study, infections caused by foodborne-pathogens leave 48 million Americans with some kind of food poisoning sickness every year.  These food poisoning illnesses cost America approximately $77 billion in a year.

The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Food Protection.  According to the study, 48 million Americans every year suffer from some illness associated with foodborne pathogens.  The analysis found that the average cost of each illness was approximately $1,626.  That works out to an approximate annual cost from $77.7 billion.

That figure is much lower than earlier estimates have held.  According to previous estimates, the cost of food poisoning in the US is approximately $102 billion.  The new estimates came from a revision conducted by Robert Scharff of Ohio State University.  According to this review, the estimates based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are much lower than earlier assumed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that up to 128,000 Americans are hospitalized with food poisoning every year.  These incidents of food poisoning also cause 3000 fatalities a year.  What is interesting is that more people suffer from influenza than food poisoning.  During a typical season, approximately 200,000 people in America are hospitalized with influenza.  However, the total cost of food poisoning-related illnesses is equal to the total cost of influenza  in the country.

In 2011, Californians can do more to protect themselves from illnesses caused by foodborne pathogens.  Basic cleanliness and hygiene can reduce the risk of infections.  Wash hands regularly, and wash your countertops, utensils, knives, and chopping boards diligently.

Be smart about separating fresh foods and produce from meat, poultry, seafood and other foods.  The separation process should begin not in your refrigerator or while cooking, but right at the moment that you buy the food.  Use separate bags to carry your meats and seafood, and separate bags for fresh produce.  When you get home, don’t place your meats and seafood above the produce in the refrigerator- raw juice can drip onto fresh produce, contaminating it.  Use separate utensils, knives and chopping boards to handle produce and meat.

Meat should be cooked thoroughly.  Many food poisoning illnesses that Los Angeles food poisoning lawyers come across could have been prevented if the meat had been cooked at temperatures high enough to kill bacteria.  Use a food thermometer if you’re not sure if the meat has been cooked thoroughly.  The ideal temperature should be 160° Fahrenheit for ground meats and 155°F for poultry.  For whole meats, the ideal temperature would be about 145°F.


Posted by Robert Reeves at 1:27 pm - no comments
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