The USDA, on a new website on May 13, unveiled a cost of food poisoning calculator. To date, the only two pathogens with reported yearly costs estimates are Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7. The combined cost estimate for those two? In excess of $3 Billion.
According to the USDA, the estimates "include assumptions about disease incidence, outcome severity, and the level of medical, productivity, and disutility costs." The calculator allows a user to input different assumptions and see how the total cost would be affected.
The site estimates the number of non-O157:H7 E. coli illnesses at over 31,000 annually. An example of such a pathogen is E. coli O145, the cause of an recent outbreak of illness connected to romaine lettuce.