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11 Foods Most Likely to Cause Sickness
December 11, 2015
J.R. and I hope you're well and adding natures super foods to your family's diet!


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11 Foods Most Likely to Cause Sickness

As long as there are no allergy issues, a simple peanut butter sandwich seems like one of the safest and most wholesome foods one could eat or feed to a child.

However, a recent peanut butter recall which has now been expanded to include 100 different products that contain nuts and seeds, highlights how food poisoning can come from our favorite, most nutritious foods.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 48 million North Americans per year are infected with bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens from contaminated food.

Nearly 150,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

Some sources say that the numbers could be as much as double the CDC estimates.

Germs spread from meat and poultry account for 30-40 percent of infections, and according to Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), 10 other items cause another 40 percent of cases.

Safe handling, washing and cooking are highly recommended to reduce the risks.

Raw poultry and meat may contain harmful bacteria, including salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, and E. coli.

Estimates vary, at least 30-40% of food borne illnesses are caused by meat and poultry.

Thorough cooking kills these pathogens.

Be careful not to cross-contaminate other items in the refrigerator, sink, or on the countertop.

Leafy greens

Lettuce and other leafy greens are super healthy but also susceptible to contamination through improper processing or handling.

The CDC says about 14% of food poisoning comes from these vegetables.

Most of the bacteria are in the outer leaves, discard and rinse the rest a few times.

Bagged salad should also be washed.

Tuna

Raw tuna that is not properly refrigerated can cause poisoning from a substance that develops in decaying flesh called scrombotoxin.

Symptoms include: headache, cramps, nausea, and loss of vision.

Cooking does not destroy the contaminant.

The FDA warns scrombotoxin is particularly dangerous for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems and say it often goes unreported because people don't associate the symptoms with fish consumption.

Oysters

Raw oysters may be infected with norovirus, which causes gastroenteritis, or vibrio, a dangerous bacterium related to cholera.

The FDA recommends that people with certain health conditions avoid raw oysters.

Potatoes

Food poisoning linked to this popular vegetable is often caused by dishes like potato salad that are improperly refrigerated.

Potatoes baked in foil and kept warm can too long can also develop botulism.

Scrub well, cook thoroughly, and store prepared dishes in the refrigerator.

Ice cream

Outbreaks of food poisoning can occur when pasteurized milk is cross-contaminated with unpasteurized milk.

Soft ice cream machines that aren't regularly cleaned may also harbor bacteria.

At home, the USDA recommends people making their own ice cream use a cooked egg base.

Cheese

Cheese can become contaminated during processing, but the greatest danger comes from eating cheese made from unpasteurized milk.

Raw, soft cheese, such as Brie, may carry listeria, a pathogen that is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.

The FDA recommends avoiding cheese that is not labeled pasteurized.

Tomatoes

Because of the way food is distributed through the agricultural system, an outbreak of salmonella at a single facility can affect thousands of people.

Salmonella can live in this raw fruit, but multiply when tomatoes are cut and left in a warm environment.

Store items like fresh salsa in the refrigerator.

Home canned (and occasionally processed) tomatoes may harbor botulism, which the CDC says is destroyed by boiling for ten minutes.

Sprouts

The warm, moist conditions that are ideal for growing sprouts are also great for cultivating bacteria.

The CDC recommends that children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system avoid consuming raw sprouts.

Berries

Since 1990, CSPI reports there have been 25 reported outbreaks of food poisoning from berries.

The FDA says contamination usually occurs during harvesting or from contaminated water.

The big problem is, an outbreak can impact thousands of consumers. such as when farm worker contaminated 2.6 million pounds of strawberries with Hepatitis A in 1997.

Rinse berries thoroughly and find trusted local source for in season fruit.

Unfortunately, that's all the time we have today.

We wish you and your family the very best in health and happiness this Holiday Season!

J.R. and I truly hope this information helps, and you found some value in this edition!

Until next time, we want you to,

live longer, live younger!

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