Breaking News
April 24, 2018 - Investigators highlight potential of exercise in addressing substance abuse in teens
April 24, 2018 - Study shows people might develop dementia later and live with it for a shorter period of time
April 24, 2018 - EMBL scientists develop new illumination method to manage neuropathic pain
April 24, 2018 - New compound could offer pain-relieving properties without risk of addiction
April 24, 2018 - New drug treatment could be promising therapeutic approach for millions with asthma
April 24, 2018 - Study provides guidance on using cannabis for treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression
April 24, 2018 - By Royal approval: Queen’s Award success for Elucigene
April 24, 2018 - The role of ‘extra’ DNA in cancer evolution and therapy resistance
April 24, 2018 - Researchers identify tools that caregivers could use to detect delirium in older adults
April 24, 2018 - What to Look Out For
April 24, 2018 - Drugs prescribed for newborns vary widely between NICUs, study finds
April 24, 2018 - FM4200 pressure-resistant mass flow meter from Sensirion
April 24, 2018 - Study links past experiences with bias and avoidance of doctors in women with higher BMI
April 24, 2018 - Role of extrachromosomal pieces of DNA in cancer development and treatment resistance
April 24, 2018 - Rehabilitation technique for stroke appears beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients
April 24, 2018 - Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Announces Submission of New Drug Application for Firdapse for Treatment of Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome
April 24, 2018 - Suicide and homicide rates show large racial disparities across US states
April 24, 2018 - NuProbe to commercialize Wyss Institute’s new technology to facilitate precision medicine
April 24, 2018 - Special series explores pasteurized donor human milk use for hospitalized infants
April 24, 2018 - Slight changes in patient’s position during radiotherapy may impact survival chances
April 24, 2018 - FDA Approves Tagrisso (osimertinib) as First-Line Treatment for EGFR-Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
April 24, 2018 - After knee replacement, play on
April 24, 2018 - Contact precautions do not limit spread of drug-resistant bacteria in ICUs
April 24, 2018 - Researchers discover genetic catalysts that accelerate evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
April 24, 2018 - WPI researcher launches mobile app for assessing perinatal depression in women
April 24, 2018 - Researchers identify superior blood-based biomarker for assessing sports-related concussions
April 24, 2018 - Gene Therapy Found to Be Promising for β-Thalassemia
April 24, 2018 - Bariatric surgery can lead to changes in relationship status
April 24, 2018 - GPs must embrace digital technologies to make healthcare access easier for patients
April 24, 2018 - Novel stem cell therapy may transform current paradigms for treating heart failure patients
April 24, 2018 - Maternal depression during and after pregnancy linked to poorer child neurodevelopment
April 24, 2018 - Vitamin D and magnesium supplements provide right nutritional support to athletes
April 24, 2018 - Could a Tattoo Someday Spot Your Cancer?
April 24, 2018 - Throat reflexes differ in people with tetraplegia and sleep apnea
April 24, 2018 - Study shows no increased risk of breast cancer recurrence after DIEP flap reconstruction
April 24, 2018 - Nearly three-quarters of commonly used medical scopes tainted by bacteria
April 24, 2018 - Home-based treatment program offers robust and sustained relief for IBS patients
April 24, 2018 - New IntelliCyt Cy-Clone PLUS streamlines clone ranking and selection for cell line development
April 24, 2018 - Scientists examine how specific eating patterns could help fight cancer and obesity
April 24, 2018 - Study sheds new light on how bilinguals process language
April 24, 2018 - Probiotics can improve liver health, shows study
April 24, 2018 - Study may explain how chemoresistance evolves over time in some triple-negative breast cancers
April 24, 2018 - Role of midbrain in encoding identity errors
April 23, 2018 - Salamander study provides clues for treating spinal cord injuries
April 23, 2018 - Relaxation after work could give better night’s sleep
April 23, 2018 - Loneliness on its way to becoming Britain’s most lethal condition
April 23, 2018 - Low-cost blood test for multiple myeloma can deliver same diagnostic information as bone biopsy
April 23, 2018 - Metabolic differences may contribute to postpartum weight retention in black moms
April 23, 2018 - Time-Related Deployment Factors Predict Suicide Attempt Risk
April 23, 2018 - Are newborns ugly? Research says newborns rated ‘less cute’ than older babies
April 23, 2018 - Prenatal marijuana use linked to increased chance of low birth weights
April 23, 2018 - Researchers identify target gene in P. aeruginosa infection
April 23, 2018 - New studies related to causes of liver degradation and possible treatments
April 23, 2018 - Studies offer leads for new approaches to treat neurological problems
April 23, 2018 - Promising cell study may offer new opportunities for treating Parkinson’s disease
April 23, 2018 - Gene Therapy May Be Cure for Some With Rare Blood Disorder
April 23, 2018 - Obesity impacts liver health in kids as young as eight years old
April 23, 2018 - Frequent cannabis use by young people linked to small reductions in cognitive function
April 23, 2018 - Innovative research could lead to new ways to treat, prevent cancer
April 23, 2018 - Study uncovers possible source of gender differences in migraines
April 23, 2018 - Study proves usefulness of EDX testing in diagnosis, management of neuromuscular disorders
April 23, 2018 - Hacking ‘drug trafficking’ system could increase effectiveness of diabetes treatment
April 23, 2018 - Clinical trial to examine stem cell therapy for treatment, prevention of complications after traumatic injury
April 23, 2018 - Targeted radiotherapy found to be a good option for women with early breast cancer
April 23, 2018 - Eating fish could prevent Parkinson’s disease
April 23, 2018 - Philips showcases dedicated radiation oncology solutions at ESTRO 2018
April 23, 2018 - Key factor in development of Parkinson’s disease identified
April 23, 2018 - Higher consumption of fish linked to better neurological health
April 23, 2018 - Genevac announces HT Series 3 evaporators with Inert Gas Purge option
April 23, 2018 - Researchers clarify immune response for patients with breast cancer brain metastases
April 23, 2018 - Polypharmacy More Likely for Cancer Survivors
April 23, 2018 - Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults
April 23, 2018 - Scientists illustrate role of novel chromosomal mutations in fosfomycin resistance
April 23, 2018 - Newly developed drug compound may help treat Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
April 23, 2018 - Marriage Means ‘I Do’ for Skin Cancer Detection
April 23, 2018 - Freezing hunger-signaling nerve may help ignite weight loss
April 23, 2018 - Wear exoskeletons with caution for heavy lifting, researchers say
April 23, 2018 - Research offers new hope for healing wounds in patients with diabetes
April 23, 2018 - Shorter courses of radiotherapy found to be safe, effective for prostate cancer patients
April 23, 2018 - Scientists use CRISPR tool to make multiple edits to DNA samples ‘in vitro’
Single foodborne outbreak can have large ramifications for restaurants

Single foodborne outbreak can have large ramifications for restaurants

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A single foodborne outbreak could cost a restaurant millions of dollars in lost revenue, fines, lawsuits, legal fees, insurance premium increases, inspection costs and staff retraining, a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

The findings, which will be published online on Apr. 16 in the journal Public Health Reports, are based on computer simulations that suggest a foodborne illness outbreak can have large, reverberating consequences regardless of the size of the restaurant and outbreak. According to the model, a fast food restaurant could incur anywhere from $4,000 for a single outbreak in which 5 people get sick (when there is no loss in revenue and no lawsuits, legal fees, or fines are incurred) to $1.9 million for a single outbreak in which 250 people get sick (when restaurants loose revenue and incur lawsuits, legal fees, and fines).

Americans eat out approximately five times per week, according to the National Restaurant Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year due to food-related illnesses, which are often referred to as food poisoning.

For the study, the researchers developed a computational simulation model to represent a single outbreak of a particular pathogen occurring at a restaurant. The model broke down results for four restaurant types: fast food, fast casual, casual and fine dining under various parameters (e.g., outbreak size, pathogen, and scenarios).

The model estimated costs of 15 foodborne pathogens that caused outbreaks in restaurants from 2010 – 2015 as reported by the CDC. Examples of the pathogens incorporated in the model were listeria, norovirus, hepatitis A, E. coli and salmonella. The model ran several different scenarios to determine the impact level ranging from smaller outbreaks that may incur few costs (i.e., no lawsuits and legal fees or fines) to larger outbreaks that incur a high amount of lawsuits and legal fees.

“Many restaurants may not realize how much even just a single foodborne illness outbreak can cost them and affect their bottom line,” says Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at the Bloomberg School. “Paying for and implementing proper infection control measures should be viewed as an investment to avoid these costs which can top a million dollars. Knowing these costs can help restaurants know how much to invest in such safety measures.”

The research team found that a single outbreak of listeria in fast food and casual style restaurants could cost upwards of $2.5 million in meals lost per illness, lawsuits, legal fees, fines and higher insurance premiums for a 250-person outbreak. When looking at the same circumstances for fine dining restaurants, $2.6 million in costs were incurred. The subsequent costs of outbreaks can be major setbacks for restaurants and are sometime irreversible. For example, Chi-Chi’s restaurant went bankrupt and closed their doors in the U.S. and Canada permanently due to a hepatitis A outbreak in 2003. In the past decade, several national restaurant chains have lost significant business due to food-illness outbreaks.

Foodborne illness outbreaks can be avoided in some cases by various infection prevention and control measures, many of which may cost substantially less than the outbreak itself. For example, according to the National Restaurant Association, a training program that focuses on basic food safety, cross-contamination, time and temperature and cleaning and sanitation costs $15 for an online course per employee.

Not allowing an employee enough time off work to recover from an illness can also lead to considerable costs. According to the model, giving a restaurant employee a week off to recover can cost an anywhere from $78 to $3,451 depending upon his/her wages and duration of illness. The findings from the study report that a single norovirus outbreak, also known as the winter vomiting bug, could cost a casual restaurant $2.2 million, which far surpasses what it would cost to allow a sick employee adequate time off to recuperate.

“Even a small outbreak involving five to 10 people can have large ramifications for a restaurant,” says Sarah M. Bartsch, research associate at the Global Obesity Prevention Center and lead author of the study. “Many prevention measures can be simple, like implement adequate food safety staff training for all restaurant employees and apply sufficient sick leave policies, and can potentially avoid substantial costs in the event of an outbreak.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles