This report examines how foodborne illness imposes a “poverty penalty” on the country’s most vulnerable consumers. Each year an estimated one in six U.S. consumers suffers a foodborne illness, with 128,000 hospitalized and 3,000 dying. The most recent CDC data shows an upward trend in reported foodborne illnesses over the last four years, and some consumers are more affected than others. Recent studies suggest that living in poverty is a significant risk factor for acquiring a foodborne illness, particularly for children under age 5. This report explores why, and outlines policies that could help to alleviate this public health burden.