Mind and Body

10 riskiest FDA-regulated foods

From leafy greens, to berries and potatoes - find out why these foods could be harboring deadly bacteria.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens, eggs, and tuna are healthy for you right? That may be true, but these foods have  also made the top of a list of the 10 riskiest foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In fact, those and seven other foods account for nearly 40 percent of all foodborne outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated food since 1990. CSPI identified 363 outbreaks linked to iceberg lettuce, romaine, spinach, and other leafy greens, variously contaminated with E. coli, norovirus, or salmonella, which caused 13,568 cases of illness. Manure, contaminated irrigation water, or poor handling practices are all possible culprits in those outbreaks.

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Eggs

Coming in a close second on the list were eggs, which were linked to 352 outbreaks and 11,163 illnesses.

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Tuna

Who doesn't love a nice piece of sashimi tuna or a spicy tuna roll - but the CSPI report found this popular fish was linked to 268 outbreaks and 2,341 cases of illness.

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Oysters

Another culprit from the sea is oysters. Despite their limited consumption - the briny delicacy was linked to 132 outbreaks causing 3,409 illnesses. 

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Potatoes

OK - this next food staple doesn't seem like it would be on this list - but outbreaks involving potatoes do happen. Spuds have been linked to 108 outbreaks and 3,659 cases of illness. 

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Cheese

From mild, to sharp and hard varieties - cheese is a favorite among consumers - but this popular dairy product can also make you sick. The report found cheese products accounted for 83 outbreaks involving 2,761 reported cases of illness.

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Ice Cream

Ice cream lovers - brace yourselves. This sweet treat also made the list. The CSPI report found that ice cream was linked to 74 outbreaks involving 2,594 reported cases of illness.

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Tomatoes

In 2005 and 2006, tomatoes were implicated in four multistate outbreaks of salmonella, sickening hundreds of people. So it's really no surprise this salad staple made the list. The CSPI found tomatoes were involved in 31 outbreaks involving 3,292 reported cases of people falling ill. 

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Sprouts

Another salad favorite - alfalfa sprouts - also made the list. Earlier this year the FDA issued a warning for consumers to stop eating raw sprouts after the food item was linked to 31 outbreaks involving 3,397 reported cases of the illness.

Berries

And finally, berries round out the top 10 on the list of the riskiest foods, with 25 outbreaks involving 3,397 reported cases of illness. All of this data comes from CSPI's Outbreak Alert! Database, which includes outbreaks from 1990 to 2006, using data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources. 

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10 riskiest FDA-regulated foods

From leafy greens, to berries and potatoes - find out why these foods could be harboring deadly bacteria.

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