Infectious Diseases 2020

Infectious Diseases 2020

Report: The burden of foodborne disease in the UK 2018

13 March, 2020

This Report contains the results of a five year programme to build a Cost of Illness (COI) model, which for the first time allows us to estimate the burden of foodborne illness in the UK. Over the last five years an extensive programme of work has been undertaken by the FSA economists, in collaboration with external experts and academics, to estimate the societal burden of foodborne illness in the UK. Working with academics from leading UK universities, the FSA economists have built a Cost of Illness (COI) model, whose objective is to identify and measure all the costs of a particular disease, including the direct, indirect, and intangible dimensions. The output, expressed in monetary terms, is an estimate of the total burden of foodborne illness to society. The COI analysis provides decision-makers with a perspective on the magnitude of the societal burden of a particular disease or condition. Based on latest (2018) estimates of 2.4m foodborne cases per year, the new COI model estimate that the total burden for the UK from foodborne illness is approximately £9bn (£3bn for known cases and £6bn for unattributed cases).
The total burden of foodborne diseases (FBD) in the UK is predominantly driven by the number of individual cases. Unknown cases account for 60% of total FBD cases which imposes by far the greatest burden when compared to known cases.
Of known cases, norovirus imposes the greatest economic and societal burden at an estimated annual cost of £1.68bn followed by Campylobacter spp. (£710m) and Salmonella spp. (non-typhoidal) (£210m). VTEC O157 (£4m) and Cryptosporidium (£2.1m) impose the least burden.