The list was compiled by comparing the number of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with foods from 1990 to 2006, as well as the number of illnesses, and is dominated by foods that Americans are encouraged to consume as part of a healthy diet. Although many consumers may be more likely to connect meat products with foodborne illness, these were not considered for inclusion as they are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).
Topping the list were leafy greens, which caused 363 illness outbreaks during the period, leading to more than 13,500 cases of illness, the report said. Also on the list were eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts, and berries. Together, these foods were responsible for nearly 50,000 reported illnesses, CSPI said, although because many illnesses are not reported, the total is likely to be much higher.
Several industry bodies have criticized CSPI’s report, including the National Milk Producers Federation, which called it “misleading” and “based on outdated information”.
The US Potato Board issued a statement challenging the CSPI findings, in which its CEO Tim O'Connor said: "Potatoes are inherently healthy and are not an inherently risky food and they should not be on this list at all. The issue is cross-contamination, not the potato itself."
Aporte: Claudia Villarroel.