Leafy Greens Top the List of the 10 Riskiest Foods

October 6, 2009  
Filed under General Interest

The Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a list today of the top ten foods that can make you sick. Surprisingly enough, some of the foods now being called risky are the same foods you need in order to stay healthy. This year, one in four people will get sick from eating contaminated food.

Making the top 10 are:

1. Leafy Greens can be contaminated by the very common strains of E.Colia and/or Salmonella causing large outbreaks of disease. Remember the outbreak with bagged spinach?

2. Eggs are contaminated primarily with salmonella, a bacteria that often causes diarrhea.

3. Tuna. The most common complaint was scombroid illness due to scombroid toxins, which are linked to fresh water fish and can occur in tuna that is left in a warm place too long. Side effects of ingesting scombroid toxins include flushing, nausea and cramps.

4. Oysters. The risks of eating raw or undercooked foods, including seafood, are well known.

5. Potatoes. This one really surprised me, but potatoes caused 108 outbreaks between 1990 and 2006, resulting in 3,695 cases of illness.

6. Cheeses are susceptible to contamination because they are made using many steps, including curdling, salting, and processing.

7. Ice Cream. Contaminated pre-mix from unpasteurized eggs was the reason a large outbreak occurred in 1994.

8. Tomatoes are frequently linked to foodborne illnesses and they are suceptible to contamination because they are often eaten raw instead of being cooked to kill bacteria.

9. Sprouts. The CSPI report identified sprout seeds as the primary source of contamination for a germinated sprout. Salmonella is common to sprouts, as is E. coli.

10. Berries. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are just a few of the fruits the CSPI flagged as having contributed to 25 outbreaks between 1990 and 2006, causing 3,397 illnesses.

Full article:
CSPI Urges Senate to Pass Food Safety Modernization Act

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