Sandra Hoffmann

Sandra Hoffmann

Senior Economist


Sandra (Sandy) Hoffmann is a senior economist with the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) in the Diet, Safety and Health Economics Branch of the Food Economics Division. Her research focuses on food safety, the valuation of the health benefits of public policies, and the integration of economic analysis and risk assessment. She is recognized for her research on the cost of foodborne illness, attribution of foodborne illness to its food sources, and children's environmental health. Sandy served on the National Academy of Sciences committee on the Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems. She currently serves on the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Foodborne Disease Reference Group, on advisory panels to the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency and to Food Standards Australia New Zealand on health valuation. She has also advised the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency on valuation of children's benefits from environmental health programs. She is an academic editor for the PLOS ONE journal and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics and Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.

Current Projects:

  • Cost of Foodborne Illness in the United States—Updating the USDA, ERS Cost-of-Foodborne Illness Database.
  • Age and the Cost of Foodborne Illnesses in the United States.
  • Enhancing the Foundations for Estimating the Economic Impact of Chronic Outcomes of Foodborne Disease in the United States.
  • Estimating U.S. Consumers’ Willingness to Pay to Reduce Risk of Non-Fatal Foodborne Disease Outcomes.
  • Global Food Safety—How changes in income and food prices could affect the global burden of foodborne disease; and estimating the social cost of deaths from foodborne disease globally.
  • Global Foodborne Disease—World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease Estimation


Prior to joining ERS in 2010, Sandy was a Research Fellow at Resources for the Future (2000–2010) and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999–2000). She also practiced pesticide and chemical manufacture regulatory law (1986–1989) and served with the U.S. Peace Corps in rural Chile (1980–1982).


Sandy holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also received a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.S. from Iowa State University.

Professional Affiliations

Sandy is a member of the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis (SBCA), and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE).

Selected Publications

Dahlwali, S., S. Hoffmann, A. White, J.-W. Ahn, R.B. McQueen, and E. Scallan Walter. 2022. “Cost of hospitalizations for leading foodborne pathogens in the United States: Identification by ICD coding and variation by pathogen,” Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 18(11): 812–821.

Austhof, E., K. Schaefer, K. Boyd, C. McFadden, A.Owusu-Dommey, S. Hoffmann, L. Villa-Zapata, J. McClelland, and K. Pogreba-Brown. 2022. “Scoping review of Toxoplasma post-infectious sequelae,” Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 18(10): 687–701.

Hoffmann, S., L. Ashton, and J.-W. Ahn. 2021. “Food Safety: A Policy History and Introduction to Avenues for Economic Research,” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 43: 680–700.

Hoffmann, S., and E. Scallan. 2020. “Evaluating the Science Available to Inform Updated Cost of Foodborne Illness Estimates,” Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 17(3).

Li, M., A.H. Havelaar, S. Hoffmann, T. Hald, M.D. Kirk, P.R. Torgerson, and B. Devleesschauwer. 2019. “Global Disease Burden of Pathogens in Animal Source Foods,” 2010,” PLOS ONE 14(6): e0216545.

Hoffmann, S., W.P. Aspinall, R. Cooke, T. Corrigan, A. Havelaar, H. Gibb, B. Devleesschauwer, P. Torgerson, M. Kirk, F. Angulo, R. Lake, N. Speyboec, and T. Hald. 2017. “Attribution of Major Foodborne Diseases to Specific Food Exposures for Use in Assessing the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases: Results from Coordinated Expert Elicitations in 14 World Health Organization Subregions,” PLOS ONE 12(9):e0183641.

Hoffmann, S., A. Krupnick, and Q. Ping. 2017. “Building a Set of Internationally Comparable VSL Studies: Estimates of Chinese Willingness to Pay to Reduce Mortality Risk,” Journal of Benefit Cost Analysis 8(2): 251–289.

Hoffmann, S., and E. Scallan. 2017. “Epidemiology, Cost and Risk Analysis of Foodborne Disease,” in Foodborne Diseases, Christine Dodd, T. Aldsworth and R. Stein eds. Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier.

Gale, F., and S. Hoffmann. 2016. “Lessons for China from U.S. Food Safety History,” in Food Safety in China, J. Jen and J. Chen eds. Beijing, CN: China Scientific Press (in Chinese) and Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing (in English).

Aspinall, W.P., R. Cooke, A. Havelaar, S. Hoffmann, and T. Hald. 2016. “Evaluation of a Performance-Based Expert Elicitation: WHO Global Attribution of Foodborne Diseases,” PLOS ONE 11(3): e0149817.

World Health Organization, Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group, Source Attribution Task Force. 2016. “Research Synthesis Methods in an Age of Globalized Risks: Lessons from the Global Burden of Foodborne Disease Expert Elicitation,” Risk Analysis 36(2): 191–202.

Hald, T., W.P. Aspinall, B. Devleesschauwer, R. Cooke, T. Corrigan, A. H. Havelaar, H. J. Gibb, P. R. Torgerson, M. D. Kirk, F. J. Angulo, R. J. Lake, N. Speybroeck, and S. Hoffmann. 2016. “World Health Organization Estimates of the Relative Contributions of Food to the Burden of Disease Due to Selected Foodborne Hazards: A Structured Expert Elicitation,” PLOS ONE 11(1): e0145839.

World Health Organization. 2015. “WHO Estimates of the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases: Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group 2007-2015,” World Health Organization, Geneva, CH. (accessed December 21, 2015).

Batz, M., S. Hoffmann, and J. G. Morris, Jr. 2014. “Disease-Outcome Trees, EQ-5D Scores, and Estimated Annual Losses of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) Due to 14 Foodborne Pathogens in the United States,” Foodborne Pathogen and Disease 11(5): 395–402.

Hoffmann, S., Q. Ping, A. Krupnick, S. Lodoysamba, B. Burmaa, A. Enkhjargal, and B. Suvd. 2012. “The Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions in Mongolia,” Resource and Energy Economics 34(4): 493–513.

Hoffmann, S., M. Batz, J. G. Morris, Jr. 2012. “Annual Cost of Illness and Quality-Adjusted Life Year Losses in the United States Due to 14 Foodborne Pathogens,” Journal Food Protection 75(7): 1291–1302.

Batz, M., S. Hoffmann, J. G. Morris, Jr. 2012. “Ranking the Disease Burden of 14 Pathogens in Food Sources in the United States Using Attribution Data from Outbreak Investigations and Expert Elicitation,” Journal Food Protection 75(7): 1270–77.

Hoffmann, S. 2011. “Overcoming Barriers to Integrating Economic Analysis into Risk Assessment,” Risk Analysis 31(9): 1345–1355.

Hoffmann, S. 2011. “Food Safety Policy and Economics,” in Oxford Handbook of Food Consumption and Policy, J. Lusk, J. Rossen, and J. Shogren eds. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Hoffmann, S., and B. Harder. 2010. “Food Safety and Risk Governance in Globalized Markets,” Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 20: 5–54.

Hoffmann, S. 2010. “Ensuring Food Safety around the Globe: The Many Roles of Risk Analysis from Risk Ranking to Microbial Risk Assessment,” Risk Analysis 30(5): 711–714.

National Research Council, Committee on Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System. 2009. BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for Early Detection of Biological Threats, Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Hoffmann, S. 2007. “Since Children Are Not Little Adults—Socially—What’s an Environmental Economist to Do?” Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum 17: 209–232.

Hoffmann, S., P. Fischbeck, A. Krupnick, and M. McWilliams. 2007. “Using Expert Elicitation to Link Foodborne Illnesses in the U.S. to Food,” Journal of Food Protection 70(5): 1220–1229

World Bank. 2007. “Cost of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages,” World Bank, Washington DC.

Goodhue, R.E., and S.A. Hoffmann. 2006. "Reading the Fine Print in Agricultural Contracts: Conventional Contract Clauses, Risks and Returns," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 88(5):1237–1243.

Hoffmann, S.A., J. Boyd, and E. McCormick. 2006. "Taxing Nutrient Loads," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 61(5):142A–147A.

Dharmapala, D., and S.A. Hoffmann. 2005. "Bilateral Accidents with Intrinsically Interdependent Costs of Precaution," Journal of Legal Studies 34(1):239–272.

Hoffmann, S., A. Krupnick, and W. Adamowicz. 2006. “Uncertainty in Valuing Benefits to Children from Environmental Health Policy,” in Economic Valuation of Environmental Health Risks to Children. Paris, FR: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development Publishing, Paris, France.

Hoffmann, S., and M. Taylor eds. 2005. Toward Safer Food: Perspectives on Risk and Priority Setting. Washington DC: Resources for the Future Press.

Berck, P., C. Costello, L. Fortmann, and S. Hoffmann. 2003. “Poverty and Employment in Forest-dependent Counties,” Forest Science 49(5): 1–15.

Berck, P., and S. Hoffmann. 2002. “Assessing the Employment Impacts of Environmental Policy,” Environmental and Resource Economics 22: 133–56.

Hoffmann, S.A., S. Robinson, and S. Subramanian. 1996. "Defense Cuts and the California Recession: Computable General Equilibrium Models and Interstate Factor Mobility," Journal of Regional Science 36(4):571–95.