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Abstract

More Americans are eating hamburgers more well-done than in the past, according to national surveys. This change reduced the risk of E. coli O157:H7 infection by an estimated 4.6 percent and reduced associated medical costs and productivity losses by an estimated $7.4 million annually. In a 1996 survey, respondents who were more concerned about the risk of foodborne illness cooked and ordered hamburgers more well-done than those who were less concerned. However, respondents who strongly preferred hamburgers less well-done cooked and ordered them that way, even after accounting for their concern about the risk of illness.

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