LTHOLong-Term Hydrologic Observatory
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Scientific research has established that most foodborne pathogens have LTHOs that can have a wide range of health outcomes, some with life-long consequences (Roberts, Kowalcyk, and Buck, 2011).
For all three of these recent LTHOs, it is not yet possible to estimate what percent are caused by food.
In 2013, FDA's Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Food Safety Modernization Act proposed regulations for processed foods evaluated only three LTHOs for foodborne pathogens: paralysis for Campylobacter, kidney failure for E.
For the three recently discovered LTHOs discussed above, the percentage attributed to food is unknown today.
In conclusion, while LTHOs are relatively rare, their potentially life-long impacts can be more costly than acute illnesses and deaths for a particular pathogen (Buzby and Roberts, 1997).
The public good aspect of food safety is heightened by the lack of information about acute foodborne illnesses caused by pathogens and the associated LTHOs.