From farm to table, your food may be compromised along the way. About one in six Americans get sick from contaminated food every year. Here are five major offenders that can sneak in and sour your stomach, plus some common places they hide.
The most common cause of food poisoning, salmonella is a group of bacteria that causes over one million illnesses, resulting in $365 million in medical expenses, each year. Nearly half of all contaminated foods are poultry and eggs. In 2009, salmonella cracked its way into peanut butter and packaged foods made with peanuts.
This bacteria, found in soil and water, infiltrated cantaloupes in 2011.Listeria can contaminate fresh produce, unpasteurized dairy (yogurt, brie and feta), deli meat and hot dogs.
Recently, E. coli has contaminated romaine lettuce and sprouts. E. coli usually preys on ground beef, unpasteurized milk and juice (like ciders sold at farmers markets), and fresh produce.
Mother taught us to never eat undercooked chicken; campylobacter is why. This infectious disease is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the U.S.
Norwalk virus, norovirus or “stomach flu” can happen when a food handler doesn’t wash his or her hands. “'Employees must wash hands before returning to work' signs help remind employees of the steps to take to stop the spread of this virus."
How can you prevent serving food that may be contaminated?