Developing a model for evaluating and ranking the public health impact of food-borne disease

Food borne disease is an important public health problem in the United States. The CDC estimates that microbial pathogens (bacterial, parasitic, and viral) cause approximately 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 76 million illnesses annually. In addition to its health impact, the economic costs of food borne illness are estimated to be as high as $28.1 billion annually. To reduce food borne disease, it is necessary to build in concepts of prevention and accountability throughout the food safety system. However, the current system is fragmented in its design and management of food safety programs and does not allocate resources in accordance with risk. Further, there is no agreed upon model for ranking the public health impact of known food borne hazards, and there are no models for prioritizing opportunities for risk reduction. The purpose of this project is to develop a model for ranking the public health significance of 29 known food borne pathogens on which the CDC reports. The deliverables for this project are: (1) the development of a model for ranking specific pathogen/food combinations, (2) a consensus conference to review the model, and (3) wide dissemination of results. This project will be considered successful if it: (1) advances the state-of-the-art in food safety risk ranking, (2) identifies gaps in data and methodology, (3) promotes the concept of risk-based priority setting, and (4) helps the Resources for the Future food safety consortium to set priorities for future research.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $346,204.00

Awarded on: 8/2/2002

Time frame: 8/1/2002 - 1/31/2004

Grant Number: 45623


Resources for the Future, Inc.

1616 P Street, N.W., Suite 600
Washington, 20036-1436


Michael R. Taylor
Project Director