This blog usually focuses on food as medicine, and how to make it work for you. But food can be tainted too, and cause illness.
FoodNet “determines the burden of foodborne illness in the United States” and relies on lab tests. There are 76 million cases of food poisoning annually in the U.S and 325k hospitalizations.
FoodNet reports 205 foodborne disease outbreaks in 2005. 121 (59%) were associated with restaurants; most common causes were norovirus (49%) and Salmonella (18%).
The foods which carry disease commonly include unpasteurized milk and dairy products, “raw or undercooked oysters, raw or undercooked eggs, raw or undercooked ground beef, and undercooked poultry.”
Should we avoid those foods and pasteurize in-shell eggs, irradiate ground meat, and pressure treat oysters?
Those foods are too often contaminated because of enviromental pollution, unsafe chemical farming and ranching and lax worker hygiene.
And the data suggest that much food contamination actually comes from restaurants; the emphasis on the line and in the kitchen is often on production instead of safety.
Nearly 1% of ground beef is contaminated with a virulent e-coli when it gets to you. And ground beef in the supermarket, and in McDonalds, comes from an average of over 1000 cattle. In one patty.
That’s not diversifying and diluting risk. That’s compounding it. Be safe. Know where your food comes from!