6 Facts About Food-borne Illness
Allison Tsai | Feb 25, 2013
Food poisoning is a common occurrence in the U.S., and recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on what types of foods are causing the most cases.
Each year 48 million Americans catch a food-borne illness
This means roughly one out of six people in the U.S. will suffer from a food-borne illness each year. This includes 128,000 hospitalizations and 2,000 deaths due to food poisoning.
Leafy green vegetables are a top source of food poisoning
The new report released by the CDC, which is based on a decade of data, has named leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach as top sources of food poisoning.
Almost half of all cases were caused by produce
Produce was defined as fruit, nuts, leafy greens and other vegetables. Leafy greens were the most likely to contain food-borne illness, specifically norovirus.
Dairy is the second most common source of food poisoning
Diary and eggs were found to cause 20 percent of total food-borne illnesses and 15 percent of deaths.
Poultry is responsible for the most deaths due to food-borne illness
Poultry was found to be the cause of 19 percent of fatal cases. Most of them were associated with listeria and salmonella. Meat and poultry together accounted for 29 percent of deaths and 22 percent of illnesses.
It’s still important to eat veggies
CDC officials make it clear that people should still be eating vegetables despite the report. Most of the veggie-related sicknesses were from food handlers and cooks passing on infection, rather than the food itself. Remember to wash all food and thoroughly cook before eating. Also, though vegetables were responsible for the most illnesses, they were not the most harmful.