Societal burden of foodborne disease in the UK

17 March 2020

Article: 54/1105

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published a report presenting new estimates of the societal burden caused by foodborne illnesses in the UK.

The five-year study provides an in-depth understanding of the wider impacts of foodborne diseases such as norovirus, Campylobacter and Listeria. For the first time, the study also incorporates estimates based on the impacts of foodborne illness cases where a specific pathogen is not identified, often because people do not seek medical attention.

The new model, which produced the estimates, follow an established process used in the UK and internationally to assess the financial impacts and human costs, such as pain, grief, suffering and changes to quality and length of life. Estimates for these human costs were developed in part by surveying more than 4,000 people to produce monetised values to measure the impact of different foodborne pathogens. This process allows intangible human impacts to be considered alongside financial impacts, when decisions relating to foodborne illnesses are made.

Source: FSA, 12 March 2020