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  • a University of Veterinary Medicine, H-1078 Budapest, István utca 2, Hungary
  • | b Szent István University H-1118 Budapest, Villányi út 29–43, Hungary
  • | c National Food Chain Safety Office, H-1024 Budapest, Keleti Károly utca 24, Hungary
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Salmonellosis is a widely known infectious disease in Hungary that played dominant role between 1960 and 1996 and remained one of the top food-borne illnesses to these days with an estimated total number of 96 048 cases (2019). Beside direct costs of treatment, indirect costs are also significant on the level of population. Among indirect costs, consumer well-being losses are difficult to be estimated. For this purpose, the willingness to pay (WTP) method is used most frequently that measures the cost an individual would undertake to avoid a certain harm. For the well-being loss estimation, the data of National Food Chain Safety Authority's annual consumer survey was used, in which 323 respondents gave evaluable answer to the open-ended WTP question. Results indicate that an average respondent would pay 18.6 EUR to avoid salmonellosis. Main factors affecting WTP were size of family and number of children. The numbers indicate that the consumer well-being loss could be about 1 786 060 EUR annually, resulting from the multiplication of the estimated number of annual salmonellosis cases and the average WTP value. It can be concluded that consumer well-being losses alone would call for further interventions in Salmonella eradication, not to mention other – more direct – cost elements.

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