The study provides a novel model and more comprehensive estimates of the burden of occupational morbidity and mortality in food-related industries, using a farm-to-table approach.
The authors analyzed 2008 to 2010 US Bureau of Labor Statistics data for private industries in the different stages of the farm-to-table model (production, processing, distribution and storage, and retail and preparation).
The morbidity rate for food system industries was significantly higher than the morbidity rate for nonfood system industries (rate ratio = 1.62; 95% confidence interval = 1.30 to 2.01). Furthermore, the occupational mortality rate for food system industries was significantly higher than the national nonfood occupational mortality rate (rate ratio = 9.51; 95% confidence interval = 2.47 to 36.58).
This is the first use of the farm-to-table model to assess occupational morbidity and mortality, and these findings highlighting specific workplace hazards across food system industries.