7 Dirty Foods You’re Eating
With outbreaks of food-borne illness on the rise in recent years, more people are beginning to take the term “eating clean” literally. It’s no secret that improperly prepared food can make you sick, but what if it was never really safe to begin with? Here are seven of the dirtiest foods you’re eating.
Fresh cantaloupe may no be so healthy after all. According to the FDA, nearly four percent of cantaloupes tested positive for Shigella and salmonella. Since you don’t cook melon, you could swallow a big dose of food poisoning with the delicious fruit. To reduce your risk, buy whole melons with an intact rind, and always scrub them with soap and water before eating.
Perhaps egg produces should change their slogan to, “The incredible, inedible egg.” More than 650,000 cases of egg-related food poisoning occur in America each year, and the problem is increasing. Fortunately, it’s easy to minimize your risk. Make sure the eggs you buy are pasteurized, and consider purchasing free-range eggs since they’re less likely to be contaminated in the first place. Lastly, check your eggs for cracks before eating them, and always cook them thoroughly.
3. Turkey Burger
According to USDA testing, you have a one in four chance of buying ground turkey tainted with Clostridium, Listeria, Campylobacter, Salmonella or all of the above. In one study, some strains of the Salmonella found were antibiotic-resistant. A good way to avoid this is to buy organic ground turkey. Organic producers don’t use antibiotics in their meat, which prevents the development of resistant germs.
Chicken may be one of the filthiest foods in your refrigerator. In a test of 484 raw birds, more than ten percent were positive for Salmonella, and over 40 percent were positive for Campylobacter jejuni. Considering that Americans eat 70 pounds of chicken per person annually, the stakes are high. However, the risk is much lower with free-range birds, which aren’t kept in the same deplorable conditions as conventional chickens.
Fresh peaches look tasty, but they’re hiding a dirty little secret. The average peach harbors as many as nine pesticides in large quantities, making them some of the most toxic fruits available. If at all possible, opt for organic peaches. Although they still contain pesticides, only traces are left on the fruit.
6. Bagged Lettuce
Don’t let the “triple washed” label fool you. Despite these claims, bagged lettuce can still contain bugs like E. coli and Salmonella. It’s recommended to wash your lettuce before using it, no matter how clean it looks.
7. Green Onions
Fancy some raw green onion in your salad? If so, you might want to reconsider. Green onions have been responsible for multiple outbreaks of hepatits A in recent years. People have also fallen victim to Salmonella, Shigella and the parasite Cryptosporidium from eating raw green onions. When preparing these vegetables, always be sure remove the first layer and rinse them thoroughly. Thorough cooking is strongly recommended.