Salmonellosis control: estimated economic costs.
Salmonellosis, a common human intestinal disorder primarily caused by Salmonella-contaminated meats and poultry, was estimated to cost Americans around $1000 million in 1987. Only medical costs and productivity losses were included in the estimate of costs of the two million cases estimated to occur annually. If pain and suffering, lost leisure time, and chronic disease costs could be easily quantified, the estimate would increase significantly. Other procedures for calculating the value of life could change the estimates of economic benefits of reducing human salmonellosis. Incorporating losses to farmers, whose animals have reduced feed efficiency, reduced weight gain, or deaths because of chronic salmonellosis, would increase the size of estimates. Costs of food safety regulatory programmes and costs to the industry for product recalls and plant closures due to foodborne salmonellosis outbreaks, if included, would also increase the size of estimates. The National Academy of Sciences has endorsed risk assessment as a necessary method for evaluating and improving food safety regulatory programmes, especially as applied to Salmonella contamination of poultry. This report reviews and updates research on cost estimates of salmonellosis. Understanding the costs of salmonellosis is an important part of risk assessment, as a key objective of regulatory programmes is reducing human salmonellosis.