E. Coli & Salmonella Cost U.S.A. $3 Billion per Year

May 31, 2010

The Economic Research Service has calculated the total cost to America for all E. coli 0157 and salmonella cases. Turns out that between medical care costs and lost productivity, E. coli comes in at nearly half a billion dollars a year, and salmonella—which is less lethal but far more common—costs more than $2.6 billion.

Naturally, the meat industry pays only a tiny sliver of these costs, and typically only when they lose a lawsuit. The rest of it is paid for by all Americans, in the form of higher priced health insurance. This estimate leaves out the physical and emotional suffering that accompanies an annual death toll of about 450 people. Link.

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