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Food-borne illness issue costly

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  No one wants a food-borne illness, but a new report indicates they're fairly prevalent in Georgia, and costing the state big money.

Georgia ranked ninth in a recent study for both the number of food borne illnesses a year and for total costs of food borne illnesses.

Food borne illnesses like E-coli, Salmonella, and Listeria cost the country $150 billion a year. Georgia has a history of slightly more severe cases of food borne illnesses.

Last year a Blakely peanut butter plant sickened hundreds nationwide after salmonella was found in the product. The Department of Agriculture stepped up inspections at plant and health officials say they take inspections done at restaurants very seriously.

"People are gravely ill, some people are mildly ill, but some people are affected more severely so we take our role as the assurance piece for the restaurants, we take that role very seriously," said Southwest Georgia Health District Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

In Georgia the average cost per case is over $1,800. Officials say the report shows an over-all need for more attention to food borne-illnesses across the nation.

 

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