US: top 10 foodborne bugs

Campylobacter, salmonella and Listeria are among a handful of foodborne bugs that cost the US billions of dollars a year and affect the quality of life for millions of victims according to new research.
A study performed by the University of Florida has ranked the top 10 riskiest combinations of bacteria and foods and has found that illness due to just 14 pathogens cost USD 14.1 billion dollars and kills an estimated 1322 people annually in the USA alone.
More than 90% of the cost burden – around USD 12.7 billion - is caused by just five bacteria: campylobacter ssp, salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondi and norovirus according to the body’s Emerging Pathogen Institute.
Salmonella topped the league of foodborne bugs, costing more than USD 3 billion in illness, responsible for over 19 000 hospitalizations, as well as causing over 1 million illnesses and 378 deaths.
Toxoplasma, with 327 deaths, almost 4500 hospitalizations and nearly USD 3 billion in illness costs was next.
The third riskiest bug was campylobacter – the source of 76 deaths, almost 850 000 illnesses, 8500 hospita  lizations and USD 1.7 billion in illness costs. Listeria cost USD 2.65 billion and killed 255.
“The number of hazards and scale of the food system make for a critical challenge for consumers and government alike,” said Michael Batz, lead author of the report Ranking the Risks: The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations with the Greatest Burden on Public Health. “Government agencies must work together to effectively target their efforts. If we don’t identify which pairs of foods and microbes present the greatest burden, we’ll waste time and resources and put even more people at risk.”