The riskiest foods that can lead to sickness

By: Health Local Staff Jul 09, 2014
The riskiest foods that can lead to sickness

What you can do to avoid getting sick and prevent outbreaks of food poisoning.

Food poisoning is a terrible experience we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. It causes terrible symptoms and can even be fatal in some of the most horrible cases. While our food is safe to eat, there are times when problems arise. Knowing which foods are risky can help prevent outbreaks of food poisoning. Below are the riskiest foods and what you can do to avoid getting sick.

Leafy greens
Leafy greens are good for you. From spinach to kale, these beautiful veggies are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients essential for staying healthy. But, each year hundreds of outbreaks tied to leafy green food poisoning occur. Greens may be contaminated with dirt and manure. Always wash your greens and prepare them in a clean space. Wash the knife and cutting board after use. By washing and preventing cross contamination, you eliminate the risk of getting sick.

One of the most popular breakfast foods are eggs. Each year there are reportedly a hundred or more outbreaks of Salmonella bacteria consumption. The bacteria lurk inside the egg and if not properly cooked, may cause serious and even life-threatening problems. The key to egg consumption is cooking. Avoid eating products, such as cake mix and cookie dough, containing raw eggs. Always wash your hands after handling raw eggs to prevent cross-contamination.

Meat products
Meat should be prepared like eggs. Cross contamination is a problem with meat preparation and it is important to avoid the consumption of undercooked meat. This goes for any and all animal products, such as shellfish, raw milk, and eggs. Chicken and ground beef are among the top problem meats. In 2013, there were 7,000 illnesses associated with chicken and 50,000 pounds of ground beef was recalled due to contamination or possible contamination. Clean any surface areas where meat made contact and always follow proper food prep guidelines, including hand-washing, in order to avoid getting sick.

Oysters are known around the world as a delicacy food. But, this delicacy and often-pricey food filter feeds along the bottom of the ocean floor. If the water becomes contaminated, so do the oysters. Oysters may also become contaminated during their handling process. Oysters served undercooked or raw contain germs and viruses. One of the most serious is the norovirus, which leads to serious bouts of vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Most potatoes, when scrubbed and cooked properly, do not cause sickness. But, if not prepared the right way, may lead to an outbreak of Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, or Shigella. Most outbreaks occur from potato salads or deli prepared dishes. Cross contamination occurs when the deli butcher prepares meat or another product and introduces the germ into the potato dish. Proper food handling measures must be complied with in order to avoid outbreaks.

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