Burden of Disease of Foodborne Chemicals

Lea S. Jakobsen, Brecht Devleesschauwer, Sara M. Pires

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Foods can be an important source of exposure to chemicals harmful to humans. To identify and prioritize effective food safety strategies, and allocate resources to the interventions with maximum public health benefit, policy makers need evidence on which hazards cause the highest burden of disease in the population. The Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) is a health metric that integrates disease occurrence, severity and mortality, and enables comparison of the public health impact across diseases, including those caused by chemical exposures in food. This article presents the state of the art approaches and challenges of estimating the disease burden of foodborne chemicals. It exemplifies the application of different approaches through case studies, and discusses the possibilities and limitations of each approach. Lastly, the article discusses the importance of and considerations for translation of the evidence into policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Food Safety (Second Edition)
EditorsGeoffrey W. Smithers
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-822520-2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Burden of disease
  • Chemicals
  • DALY
  • Food-safety
  • Foodborne contaminants
  • Health impact
  • Policy-making
  • Toxicology


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