5 Risky Foods Safety Scientist Say To Avoid
Food nourishes us and makes us happy, but it can also make us sick if it’s contaminated with pathogens like bacteria, parasites and viruses. Every year in the U.S., an estimated 48-million people get sick from foodborne illness, 128-thousand are hospitalized and 3-thousand die, according to Today and the CDC.
Anyone can get food poisoning, but some folks have a higher risk of getting sick with a severe illness, including those over age 65, kids under age five, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Some foods are also risky because they have a higher potential to cause foodborne illness. Food safety scientists avoid eating these foods for that very reason and I am dying because I LOVE 4 of them!
- Fresh sprouts – Raw alfalfa, bean, lentil or clover sprouts have a higher risk of carrying disease-causing pathogens and have caused several outbreaks in the U.S., according to Dr. Robert Gravani, professor emeritus of food science at Cornell University. Sprouts need warm, moist conditions to grow, and those are the same conditions that are ideal for pathogens like salmonella, listeria and E. coli to grow, according to the CDC.
- Raw milk – It hasn’t been pasteurized, a process that heats it to kill bacteria, so it’s more likely to be contaminated with pathogens like E. coli, listeria, brucella and salmonella, the CDC reports.
- Raw oysters or clams – Gravani says he won’t eat raw clams or oysters because they’re “very risky.” Dr. Catherine Nettles Cutter, professor of food science at Penn State, says the main concern is an infection with Vibrio bacteria, which occurs in coastal waters, but some types can cause illnesses, some with life-threatening complications. Hepatitis, salmonella and norovirus are also concerns.
- Raw or undercooked eggs – This includes runny eggs, and raw eggs in cookie dough or Caesar dressing, which can be contaminated with pathogens like salmonella.
- Steak tartare – Some consider this raw beef a delicacy, but these experts say it’s not worth the risk of E.coli, listeria and other pathogens.