In 2017, restaurants were responsible for 64 percent of single-location outbreaks where the original food was prepared. Insufficient cleaning of cooking areas, restrooms and dining tables can leave any restaurant prone to a fatal outbreak, both for the customer and potentially the business itself.

For example, Chi Chi's — a franchise with over 200 locations at its peak — produced an outbreak of Hepatitis A in 2003 tracing back to green onions, infecting 660 and taking the lives of four. One case alone stemming from the incident awarded a victim $6.25 million after requiring a liver transplant.

Restaurants aren't the only facility type with notable foodborne illness concerns, however. Long-term care facilities play host to three out of every four norovirus outbreaks, according to the CDC. School districts across the country are also littered with cases of E. coli outbreaks and other preventable incidents resulting from improper cleaning protocol. The result for facilities is the potential of serious illness and millions in legal penalties.

  • $4,000: Estimated cost of a single five-person outbreak in a fast food setting, without factoring in revenue losses or lawsuits.
  • $2.5 million: Estimated cost of a 250-person Listeria outbreak once fines, legal fees and elevated insurance premiums are factored in.
  • $15: Estimated per-employee cost of a food safety, cleaning/sanitation and cross-contamination program.
  • $10 to $83 Billion: Annual cost of pain and suffering, medical costs and lost production as a result of foodborne illnesses.

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