Foodborne Illness on the Rise Despite Statistics

Statistics can be misleading, even when they are put out by government agencies. Even though recent statistics regarding the rates of Foodborne illness released recently by the Centers for Disease Control appear to imply that the problem is getting better, they only tell a small part of the story when it comes to food safety.

Increased Forms of Food Contamination

Not all food contamination is caused by the same pathogens. Unfortunately, the report from the CDC only measured a few of the germs that can cause food problems. If you look at the broader spectrum of food contamination, the problem becomes alarming. For example, illness caused by salmonella were actually 44 percent higher in 2010 than it was in the 1990s. Salmonella illness is largely caused by undercooked eggs and improperly prepared chicken and causes over 300 deaths and more than one million illnesses annually. Vibrio infections, which are caused by undercooked seafood, causes 100 deaths, 500 hospitalizations and an estimated 80,000 illnesses annually.

Most food contamination can be avoided entirely by using proper food safety at farms and during food preparation. However, the reality is that budgets for food safety inspections are spread thin and little money is dedicated to providing education to consumers about potential food contamination issues. In large part, the food industry depends on self regulation for food safety and it is up to consumers to learn how to properly prepare foods to protect their own health.

Before eating anything, even if it comes from your own garden, make sure you wash it thoroughly, removing all dirt and residue. Before eating eggs and meat, make sure that it is cooked completely through. By taking a few easy precautions, you can avoid getting sick due to food contamination.

– The Alternative Daily

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