Food poisoning occurs when either food or food products become contaminated with bacteria that ‘s harmful to humans and ends up causing certain illnesses and adverse health effects. The main pathogens that are the most present within contaminated food and are responsible for most of the food borne illnesses that occur each year are E. coli, salmonella and listeria.
Overall, just over 100,000 people get some form of food borne illness every single year and end up getting hospitalized because of it, while roughly 3000 end up tying every single year from certain food borne diseases.
In this article we’re going to cover how food poisoning usually occurs as well as the top five foods that are most likely to cause food poisoning.
How does the process of food poisoning usually occur?
The contamination process can occur during several stages of the food process. It has to do with germ contamination and when they enter the food chain. For instance, germs can come into play during the growing or harvesting stages or even later on during phases of the manufacturing process.
It can even occur when products are simply mishandled and germs jump from one food item to the next, this is know as cross contamination. This is most likely to occur when you’re eating raw foods, as the heat doesn’t have time to kill the potentially harmful germs, as the food is consumed raw.
1. Chicken and Beef
Chicken is one of the main transporters of food borne illnesses, especially salmonella and staph bacteria, which is why you should always ensure that chicken is thoroughly cooked before consumption. Beef is the same as chicken, and is known to transport bacteria. You should always ensure your beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before eating; easily done with an air fryer.
Eggs have been known to cause salmonella poisoning for years. The contamination of eggs occurs even before the shells are developed, during the incubation phase. That’s why it’s always smart to cook eggs before you eat them. Eating raw of undercooked eggs will greatly increase your chances of getting salmonella.
3. Leafy Greens
Since most leafy green are grown close to the ground they are very susceptible to E. coli, because they come into contact with contamination from animals or even water. The processing of the greens may also introduce unwanted bacteria. Make sure to thoroughly wash any leafy greens, especially if they aren’t organic.
Tomatoes usually have very high traces of pesticides, dirt or other bacteria. Even tomatoes that seem more fresh and are bought at a farmer’s market. To minimize your risk make sure to wash your tomatoes thoroughly before consumption.
Sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts are prone to carrying different forms of bacteria. The high moisture content of the sprouts makes it very easy for bacteria to survive for long periods of time. Make sure to wash the sprouts before eating, especially if they’re store bought.
I hope this article will help in making a positive impact on your health for years to come. Staying healthy is equal parts information and action, by understanding how food borne illnesses usually occur you’ll have a better ida at home to keep you and your family safe. Knowing the foods where food poisoning is most likely to occur will help you to make smarter and safer decisions around those foods.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The Law Offices of WT Johnson, a personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas. Zane thinks it’s scary how many foods can give you food poisoning.