Avoid These Foods This Season to Avoid Food Poisoning from Avoid These Foods This Season to Avoid Food Poisoning

Avoid These Foods This Season to Avoid Food Poisoning

Full Story

Shutterstock

Avoid These Foods This Season to Avoid Food Poisoning

Every year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. Depending on how food is handled, it can become contaminated with harmful bacteria at any point. And cooking doesn’t always kill the germs.

Shutterstock

Raw poultry

Campylobacter bacteria are common cause of food poisoning that is usually found on raw meat, especially poultry, according to the U.K. National Health Service. The time between eating contaminated food and the start of symptoms is between two and five days. The symptoms usually last about five days. Contamination occurs during. Many cases of E. coli food poisoning occur after eating undercooked beef, mostly burgers and meatballs.

Shutterstock

Tomatoes

Raw tomatoes carry the risk of salmonella and E. coli. They can get contaminated when hand packed by dirty hands. Make sure you wash the veggies—at least 30 seconds under running water— very well and that you cut them on clean boards with clean knives. Tomatoes grown and packed domestically that were contaminated with a Salmonella strain have made hundreds of people sick all across the country over the last couple of decades, according to research.

Shutterstock

Undercooked meat

Campylobacter bacteria are a common cause of food poisoning and they are usually found on undercooked meat. Salmonella bacteria can also be found in meat that hasn’t been cooked thoroughly. Most cases of E. coli food poisoning occur after eating undercooked beef, particularly mince, burgers and meatballs.

Shutterstock

Pre-packed sandwiches

Ready-to-eat foods such as pre-packed sandwiches, cooked sliced meats and pâté, pre-cut fruits and vegetables may be housing listeria bacteria. A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Pregnant women should be especially careful as infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn, according to the CDC. Listeria can also be spread through water.

Shutterstock

Unpasteurized milk

Raw milk is a potential source for several bacteria that can cause trouble – campylobacter, E. coli, listeria and salmonella. Every year, salmonella is estimated to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the U.S., with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths, according to the CDC. Most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

Shutterstock

Ice cream

Ice cream can get contaminated. Listeria bacteria grow very well at refrigerator temperatures, even as low as 40 F. Three people in Kansas died in 2015 after eating contaminated Blue Bell Creameries brand ice cream products. More were infected. If ice cream has melted, don’t refreeze it. It can be very aggravating to a system sensitive to dairy and one can get food poisoning like symptoms from a food allergy. 

iStock

Raw or undercooked eggs

Raw or contaminated eggs can lead to salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella can live on both the outside and inside of eggs that appear to be normal, the FDA says. Half of all cases of egg-related illness are in restaurants. Cook the eggs thoroughly as it will kill the germs (Hard-boiled eggs can help you lose weight). An estimated 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths each year are caused by eating eggs contaminated with salmonella.

iStock

Deli potato salad

The most common cause of potato-linked illnesses comes from E. coli and salmonella, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Outbreaks are linked to dishes such as potato salads, especially those made in restaurants or delis. Salmonella is linked to 30 percent of potato outbreaks. Potatoes can be a problem due to cross contamination during preparation. Shigella and listeria also appear in outbreaks. More than 40 percent were linked to foods with potatoes made in restaurants, grocery stores and delis.

Shutterstock

Raw sprouts

The warm and humid conditions sprouts need to grow also happen to be ideal for the growth of bacteria, including salmonella, listeria, and E. coli, according to Food Safety. Since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. CDC and FDA recommend that the older adults, young children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems not eat raw sprouts.

Shutterstock

Uncooked hot dogs

Hot dogs, cold cuts and luncheon meats can contain bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (They are surprisingly high in salt anyway). The bacteria can grow slowly at refrigerator temperatures. Those at increased risk of foodborne illness should reheat hot dogs and luncheon meat until steaming hot before eating.

Shutterstock

Oysters

Oysters filter and clean up to 50 gallons of water per day. If the water is contaminated, so are the oysters. They can also be contaminated during handling. The norovirus is most commonly associated with raw shellfish and oysters.

Shutterstock

Tuna

Tuna decays quickly after being caught. If it’s stored above 60F it can release a toxin called scombrotoxin, which cannot be killed by cooking. Symptoms include skin flushing, headaches, cramps, diarrhea and loss of vision, according to CSPI.

Shutterstock

Bagged leafy greens

Remember the bagged spinach recall in 2012? Fear of listeria contamination swept many Southern states. E. coli outbreak traced back to pre-packaged leafy greens has also been reported, as CDC investigations have shown. The leafy greens are consumed uncooked and are common as sides in restaurants, so it’s no surprise that they accounted for 364 outbreaks of E. coli, norovirus, and salmonella between 2001 and 2008, according to the CDC.

Shutterstock

Soft cheeses

Some cheeses are better than others. Feta, Brie and Camembert; blue-veined cheese, and unpasteurized cheese can be a source of listeria. Make sure you look at the “use by” date before buying. The incubation period can vary from a few days to several weeks. The symptoms – fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, nausea, and diarrhea – will usually pass within three days. The U.S. and Canada have experienced sporadic illnesses and outbreaks of listeriosis associated with the consumption of soft cheese, according to research.

Avoid These Foods This Season to Avoid Food Poisoning