For the first time, researchers have linked food-borne illnesses to the foods that most often carry them, and ranked them according to their economic impact. They discovered that of the food pathogens that cost society the most money, half are found in meat products.
The food and food contaminant combination that causes the most economic damage is campylobacter in poultry. Campylobacter sickens more than 600,000 people and costs the U.S. $1.3 billion a year. In second place is toxoplasma in pork, which costs an estimated $1.2 billion a year.
The Washington Post reports:
"Salmonella was flagged as the bacterium that causes the most disease overall, resulting in $3 billion in annual costs ... The federal government estimates that one in six Americans gets sick every year from food-borne illnesses."