One out of six Americans ends up sick each year from unknowingly eating food that contains harmful bacteria. In an effort to cut down on such illnesses, U.S. health officials have come up with a new method for analyzing data on foodborne illness outbreaks to help figure out which foods are most likely to make people sick. It looks at food safety trends involving the four most common varieties of foodborne bacteria: salmonella, e. coli, listeria and campylobacter. Here are some foods you should eat with caution.
Many incidences of salmonella poisoning are a result of eating tainted eggs. An unprecedented outbreak in 2010 resulted in a recall of 550 million eggs.
Nature’s treats, such as strawberries and cantaloupes, have been the cause of plenty of listeria and salmonella outbreaks. In 2011, a number of people died as a result of eating tainted cantaloupes.
Raw or undercooked chicken is one of the most common ways of spreading salmonella and campylobacter -- bacteria that can lead to serious or even fatal illness. The USDA recently proposed new standards to reduce incidences of illness from poultry-related contaminants.
Want a burger or a T-bone steak? Be warned: Beef tops the list of foods most likely to make you sick from e. coli. This meat also causes hundreds of salmonella infections each year.
It’s true that eating good leafy greens and other vegetables can do wonders for your health…unless you’re one of the unlucky bunch who eats a salad invisibly dressed with e. coli.
The other white meat can be especially dangerous if it’s not processed appropriately and also if it’s undercooked. Pork causes a large number of salmonella infections each year.
Cucumbers, jalapeno peppers and other veggies that contain seeds can harbor salmonella.
Raw milk and cheeses, such as unpasteurized queso fresco, may be tasty but they also can carry harmful campylobacter bacteria.
This veggie has been tied to a number of salmonella and e. coli outbreaks. A recent one sickened more than 70 people in the U.S. and Canada.
Read more: The biggest culprits of foodborne illness