Which foods cause the most foodborne illnesses? People tend to be nervous about bad fish and too-rare hamburger, but it's actually the turkey and salad we should fear. That's the take away from a new Centers for Disease Control study on what causes food poisoning.
The CDC looked at foodborne illnesses from 1998-2008 and found that more food poisoning was associated with leafy vegetables than with any other category of food. While large in number, cases of food poisoning from produce were not as severe as those caused by land animal products— contaminated dairy products lead to the most hospitalizations and poultry caused the most deaths.
The deaths attributed to poultry were mostly caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes (63%) or Salmonella spp. (26%). The study authors note that there were three large outbreaks of listeriosis linked to turkey deli meat in 1998 through 2002, and that deli meat ranks as the highest risk food for listeriosis.
You can read the entire article, published in online version of the journal Emerging Infection Diseases here.
And to prevent food contamination and foodborne illness at home, read these food safety tips from the CDC.
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