Foods that are Likely to Cause Food Poisoning
As cases of foodborne illnesses continue to spike across the United States, it is important for consumers to be aware of foods that are “more likely” to cause food poisoning. The following list includes the “short list” of the most commonly consumed high-risk foods. The list is by no means a complete list, as any food can become contaminated with bacteria or viruses, but it is a helpful reminder of what foods require a good amount of caution.
As an agricultural product that often has not been treated to eliminate germs and other such bacteria, raw flour poses as a significant food poisoning risk to consumers. However, when flour is cooked, harmful bacteria is killed, thus making it safe to consume. Flour should never be consumed raw, whether through tasting that delicious uncooked chocolate-chip cookie dough, or dipping a finger in the pancake batter. These are tempting and many people have done so since childhood. Nonetheless, it si by far safer to wait for the finished product!
While a staple in most American diets, eggs are often linked to serious foodborne illness outbreaks, such as Salmonella. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Eggs are one of nature’s most nutritious and economical foods. But it’s important that you take care when handling and preparing fresh eggs and egg products”. By using only pasteurized eggs and pasteurized eggs products, individuals can practice food safety. Foods containing eggs should always be cooked thoroughly prior to consumption. Anytime consumers eat uncooked eggs, such as over easy or in Eggs Benedict dishes, there is a chance of contracting salmonelosis or another disease.
Beef, Chicken, Pork and Turkey
While meat, such as chicken, beef, turkey or pork, are often the main dish on American’s plates, many individuals are unaware of the risks the afore-mentioned meats pose, especially when undercooked. Poultry that is raw or undercooked is known to carry Campylobacter, which is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Campylobacter’s genus. It also carries (in as much as 20% of all tested raw chicken), salmonella bacteria. Both poultry and beef can carry Salmonella, Yersinia, listeria, E. coli. and other such harmful bacteria. However, by ensuring dishes involving beef, turkey, pork or chicken are cooked to the correct minimal temperature, consumers are more likely to avoid unwanted food-borne illnesses
Consumers also need to store meat that is raw in a separate location below cooked foods ot prevent cross-contamination, and never use a knife or cutting board for both cooked and raw products.
This summer, high-risk foods such as raw flour, eggs and meat such as beef, chicken, turkey or pork are sure to be on the menu. American individuals can practice food safety by being sure to cook all products thoroughly before consumption, and becoming educated on the foods likely to cause food poisoning.