Foodborne illness in the United States is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cause 48 million cases of illnesses, over 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually. Hospitalizations due to foodborne illnesses are estimated to cost over $3 billion dollars and lost productivity is estimated to cost between $20 billion and $40 billion each year. Other studies believe the actual costs are much higher when you include acute foodborne illnesses that often times do not get reported.
Both health departments and foodservice operations have been working hard to minimize the chances for foodborne illnesses. However, it is important to remember that not all foodborne illnesses are caused by restaurants - temperature abuse and contamination can occur at home, at unregulated events or even manufacturing sites.