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Putting a price tag on safe food
In addition to the 3,000 deaths it causes each year, contaminated food is very expensive. The cost of food poisoning in this country comes to $14 billion a year, according to a July 2012 study published in the Journal of Food Protection, including the medical expenses of the 128,000 who are hospitalized annually. That figure does not include the millions of dollars that each food recall costs the company involved, the legal expenses from victims' lawsuits or losses incurred by other companies when consumers hear, for example, about contaminated cantaloupes and then avoid all cantaloupes, including those that are perfectly safe.
January 14, 2013