266691 Marrying economic and epidemiological data and methods to enhance knowledge about the causes of foodborne illness

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

Peter Berck, PhD , Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Dana Cole, DVM, PhD , Dfwed/Edeb, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA
Sandra Hoffmann, PhD, JD , Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC
Jessica Todd, PhD , U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Washington, DC
Lydia Ashton, MS , Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Information about the food sources of foodborne illness provides the foundation for targeting interventions to prevent foodborne illness under the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Current foodborne illness source attribution estimates are based on outbreak investigations, yet outbreaks account for less than 5% of total foodborne illnesses in the U.S. Case control studies suggest that attribution estimates from outbreak data do not reflect the role of different foods in causing sporadic foodborne illnesses equally well for all pathogens. FoodNet active surveillance data captures sporadic illness, but historically has not directly linked these illnesses to foods.

This study weds epidemiological and economics data and research methods to provide an entirely new approach to foodborne source attribution that focuses on sporadic foodborne illness and food consumption. The work is a collaboration between the CDC, the USDA Economic Research Service and the University of California, Berkeley Dept of Agricultural and Resource Economics. It uses time series modeling methods developed in economics, FoodNet surveillance data, and Neilsen HomeScan consumption data to estimate multipliers between food consumption and sporadic illness. The method uses lag structure, seasonality, and geographic variability as well as exogenous controls to identify and estimate the relationship between campylobacteriosis and illness from non-O157 STEC and consumption of different foods from 2000 to 2008. This presentation will focus on the methodological links between epidemiology and economics and on the development of successful interdisciplinary research collaborations.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the limitations of surveillance data in measuring the contribution of foods to foodborne illness; 2. Discuss the role of food consumption analysis in identifying food sources of foodborne illness.

Keywords: Food Safety, Economic Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am co-author on the project that will be presented. The presentation will allow attendees to be able to discuss the potential for development of alternative methods of estimating food source attribution percentages for food-borne illnesses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.