Most people have had food poisoning at some point in their lives. Maybe that hamburger you ate last night was a little too rare or you missed the note that your favorite peanut butter is being recalled. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that one in six people in the US get sick every year from some foodborne illness. Medscape and the CDC took a look at what foods these sneaky bacteria and viruses were lurking in last year. Some of the biggest offenders might surprise you!
Peanut butter lovers beware. Salmonella loves to lurk in raw nuts and nut butters. Because peanut butter has a long shelf life, you may not know you're eating a product that's been recalled. Salmonella has also been found in ground beef, cantaloupe and mangoes. Even your pet isn't in the clear. Dry dog and cat food aren't sterile products and have both been linked to outbreaks of Salmonella. It's suggested that you wash your hands after handling it. But Salmonella isn't the only culprit you need to be thinking about. Outbreaks of norovirus have been found in oysters--which have also had outbreaks of Vibrio, a bacterium which normally lives in seawater--leafy green vegetables, raspberries and strawberries.
Sadly, that's just a sampling of foods linked to recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. A food can be contaminated at any point from when it's made to when it reaches your table. There are a few simple tasks that can keep you safe. Here's how:
Common sense and awareness are also means of prevention. Pay attention to food product recalls. The Food and Drug Administration keeps a running list of recalls and has a searchable database. Another helpful resource is FoodSafety.gov, part of the public awareness campaign to decrease foodborne illnesses. For more prevention tactics check out our blog post on the norovirus.