December 9, 2023

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New Africa /

When you sit down to eat, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not the food on your plate could harm you.

But the reality is that certain types of food can pose major risks to your health. According to Consumer Reports, a handful of these food items have been linked to serious recalls in recent years.

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In some cases, outbreaks of disease have occurred from the consumption of contaminated foods. Each year, bacteria and viruses found in food sicken about 48 million people, according to Consumer Reports, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, each year approximately 130,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses.

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With those grim statistics in mind, the following are the types of foods most often associated with such ailments. Consumer Reports based its list on foods subject to serious recalls and illness outbreaks between 2017 and 2022.

leafy greens
salad bagVincent Noel /

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Specific types of products recalled: Romaine lettuce and bagged lettuce.

Reason for recall: E. coli and listeria

Number of food recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks linked to this food (2017-2022): 50

Consumer Reports states that leafy greens were responsible for more deaths than any other food in their survey — 11. The publication says that contaminated water used to irrigate the area contributes to the problem.

To be safe, CR recommends buying whole head lettuce and separating and disposing of the outer leaves.

See also  Buying a Home in a Recession: Pros, Cons and Expert Advice

Cheese and Deli Meats
Cheese CrumbsHandcrafted Images /

Specific types of products recalled: sausage, salami, ham, luncheon meats, sliced ​​cheese and soft cheeses (such as brie and queso fresco)

Reason for recall: Listeria

Number of food recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks linked to this food (2017–2022): 122

Consumer Reports states that listeria can thrive even at colder temperatures. About 90% of those infected with listeria end up in the hospital.

Buying pre-packaged cheeses and deli meats can reduce your risk of ending up with contaminated food. And avoiding cold cuts altogether might be a better move, as we discussed in “Should You Stop Eating Any Processed Meats?”

Ground beef
Ground beefalyssa /

Specific product types recalled: Packaged Ground Beef

Reason for recall: E. coli and salmonella

Number of food recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks linked to this food (2017–2022): 22

Among the dangers associated with ground beef, salmonella is more common. It was a factor in 416 of the 643 illnesses linked to ground beef consumption.

Keeping meat separate from other groceries can prevent the spread of bacteria to other foods if you’re unlucky enough to pick up a tainted package.

Proper handling and storage of ground beef at home can also reduce your risk, as can cooking ground beef to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

other high-risk foods
Onions in Mesh Produce BagsMary Kaz /

The rest of the foods that made the Consumer Reports list are:

Onion Türkiye Chicken Papaya Peach Cantaloupe Dough

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