Paper: Multistate foodborne illness outbreaks impact restaurant stock price, public perception

Maria Kalaitzandonakes
Maria Kalaitzandonakes. Photo: Fred Zwicky.

As demand for food from restaurants soars in the U.S., so does the importance in understanding the impacts of foodborne illness outbreaks. A new paper co-written by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign expert in food marketing and food policy finds that outbreaks spanning multiple states bring swift financial losses, increased media attention and a public-relations hit that makes smaller outbreaks more financially damaging. 

When restaurants experience multistate outbreaks – as did the fast-casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2015 – that can lead to a stock market penalty, substantial negative news media coverage and a discernible change for the worse in how investors and the public view the company’s smaller outbreaks, says Maria Kalaitzandonakes, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois and lead author of the study.

Read more from the Illinois News Bureau.

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