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.
However, the organization said that the list was not intended to warn against healthy foods, but as a call for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revamp food safety measures. The US food industry has been scarred by a spate of recent foodborne illness outbreaks, paving the way for a clutch of new proposals to overhaul the nation’s food safety system, including the Food Safety Enhancement Act, currently awaiting consideration by the Senate.
Aporte: Alejandra Lavín