Here's some food for thought: According to a new study by the CDC, the greatest number of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. are not caused by raw cookie dough or undercooked meat or questionable shellfish, but by leafy green vegetables.
Of the 9.6 million cases of food-borne illness reported each year, 51 percent are caused by contaminated plants; leafy greens alone contribute 23 percent of the total, more than any other commodity. All the meat and poultry commodities combined--beef, game, pork, and poultry--were responsible for 22 percent of illness, and dairy carried 17 percent.
Many of the contaminants lurking on leafy greens are noroviruses--the bugs that cause what most of us call the "stomach flu"--deposited by food handlers, according to a story in the New York Times.
But before you throw caution to the wind and sit down with a big bowl of raw cookie dough and your favorite chicken tartare, beware: tainted greens may make you sick, but poultry is still more likely to kill you.
"stomach flu"--deposited by food handlers
does this mean the migrants are taking dumps in the field LOL
How much of this effect is down to the fact that we are all hyper aware of handling raw meats and raw eggs, and even if we didn't are most likely to eat them cooked, whereas we have no such awareness of the dangers of raw greens, and are most likely to eat them raw?
I am curious of how many people wash their fruits and vegetables prior to eating.
I have the feeling; a lot of this illness could be avoided right at the kitchen, by understanding better standard cooking\food cleanliness.
Add to this, a lot of people simply do not know how to cook correctly to kill the bacteria in food, temperature and time duration.
should be popular headlines not popular science.
Saying the illness is CAUSED by vegetables is just absolutely wrong and misleading and not a scientific statement by any means.
Green vegetables may be the most contaminated food but obviously the vegetables arent spreading their own feces on themselves.
The foodbourne illness is CAUSED by dirty workers and too much fertilizer/pesticides.
This is a ridiculous title for the article and the article isnt even informative. Click bait like this got my click but it degraded my perception of your content quality.
Way to copy nyt and not even provide quality content. Lame, and Im upset with popsci now.
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@-hms- While that's a really good point, the study separates incidents into the groups "illnesses", "hospitalizations" and "deaths". This article references only the illnesses group, in which the greens are responsible for the majority of the incidents. However, moving into hospitalizations sees a big rise in meats and dairy, while the deaths group I believe is dominated by meat (poultry I'd assume).
I doubt artificial fertilizers and pesticides will harbour the norovirus. So why mention them? Wild animals also play their part. Your lettuce is not organic unless a bird crapped on it. And then what toilet facilities do farm labourers have? Who must you blame when you have the gastric flu? an unknown starling you have never seen or the lettuce you had with your lunch.
So when my mother was making me eat my green vegetables when I was young she was really trying to kill me?
@African Rover, for the most part, viral infections are not transmissible between species. If you get norovirus, it came from a human and specifically human fecal contact.
Bacterial infections are a completely different story. We have seen more E. Coli infections recently that can be blamed on animal waste and fertilizers from animal waste, which is possibly why buell mentioned them.
In the United States, raw sewage is applied to conventionally grown produce...
Seeing that green leafy veggies are eaten practically every meal as condiments, garnishes, salads along with being the staple (raw spinach leaves, cabbage, etc) in many vegan diets, it would seem that statistical probability alone dictate that they cause the most illness due to contamination by outside factors. Any attention in this area should focus on those factors rather than reducing intake. The benefits of the fiber & nutrition they provide far outweigh the risk for most people!
REALLY PEOPLE??!! Your blaming dirty workers for spreading this? Ever think that farms that farm greens may be in proximity to farms that raise livestock?
1. Noroviruses (even human stains) have been found in livestock -who's to say that rain doesnt wash contaminated feces into these fields? http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/13/8/07-0005_article.htm
2. Ever hear of e-coli scares in spinach? That has also been linked to livestock/animal waste. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2007/ucm108873.htm
Wash your food and cook it at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time. If you do not know how much temperature or time, simply look it up on the internet, tada!
By the way, there are trillions of different critters, bugs, bacteria, virus, yeast and molds in the environment and yes birds, bugs and animals do-do on our food too.
Thank goodness the Gods taught us farming, language and more. Why, because we stopped grazing off the land like the other animals.