Fruit,Vegetables and food poisoning

Posted On 19 July 2013
It seems that although fruit and vegetables are good for you, they are at the same time responsible for about 46% of food poisoning cases in the United States - and quite probably in other western world countries.

The US Centre for Disease Control has revealed some statistics:

1. Fruit and vegetables make up 46% of food poisoning cases with lettuce, spinach and other leavy vegetables are the worst culprits.
2. Meat and poultry contribute to 22% of food poisoning cases.

With fruit and vegetables it seems that most cases are as a result of pre-cut greens which are bought in plastic bags in supermarkets.  These are often eat raw (e.g. lettuce) so any bugs get immediately digested.

E-coli, salmonella and listeria can all be caused by leafy fruit and vegetables - and these bugs normally get into vegetables if the soil vegetables grow in becomes is spread with animal manure.  

Even washing things like lettuce often doesn't get rid of all the bacteria - and salmonella bacteria is known to be resilient to drying.

In contrast, meats have more bugs and bacteria in them, but the cooking process kills them.

In a normal British summer, food poisoning cases can increase by 120,000 primarily down to poor hand, surface and utensil hygiene when people cook outside on barbecues.

Luckily the number of food poisoning cases in relation to the large number of bagged fruit and vegetables sold each year is very small.
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