“While more people may experience food poisoning from eating leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce, more died from contaminated poultry,” according to study results released yesterday by the CDC, which found that nearly 3,000 deaths occur every year from foodborne illnesses caused by listeria and samonella contamination.
The report, the most comprehensive ever produced on the sources of food poisoning from 1998-2008, revealed that nearly half of all food poisonings were linked to produce in general, with 1 in 5 directly caused by eating leafy greens that had become contaimated with norovirus spread by food handlers and cooks. Thus, officials stated that “contamination sometimes has more to do with the kitchen or restaurant than where the produce was produced.”
“Most meals are safe,” iterated study co-author Dr. Patricia Griffin, who wanted to make sure that the findings don’t discourage people from eating their vegetables. “People just need to be sure to wash those foods or cook them thoroughly.”
Earlier this year the FDA released a proposed rule for produce safety that would set new standards of hygiene for farm workers to try and reduce contact with animal waste and dirty water. See http://www.examiner.com/article/fda-sets-new-rules-for-food-safety