When we hear the words ‘food poisoning’, images of raw chicken and lukewarm rice instantly spring to mind – so we were surprised to see the results of a recent study, which says it’s not just poultry and grains you need to watch out for in the kitchen.
A new report from the Interagency Food Safety and Collaboration in America has looked at cases of food poisoning from 2008 all the way up to 2012, in order to identify the most common causes of four different strains of food poisoning – and some of the culprits that came up are not the foods you might expect!
Here are four of the most surprising foods that can give you food poisoning:
They might look innocent enough, but seeded vegetables like peppers were found to be the cause behind a shocking 18% of salmonella cases. Eggs and fruit were close behind, with 12% each.
Dairy products, including milk, cheese and yoghurt, were shown to have caused an enormous 66% of cases of campylobacter food poisoning.
Undercooked meats are always a concern, but according to the study, a significant 46% of E-Coli food poisoning cases were caused by beef.
Tainted fruit caused 50% of listeria food poisoning cases. In fact, based on the results in the survey, fresh produce and eggs poisoned more Americans than meat, fish or poultry.
So how can you prevent food poisoning?
Whilst this study was conducted in America, the threat of food poisoning is very real in Britain too! Here are the crucial measures you should take to prevent food poisoning in your home:
- Wash your hands and surfaces frequently with anti-bacterial products
- Refrigerate foods below 4°C
- Wash fresh produce thoroughly before consuming (but never wash raw chicken!)
- Use a food thermometer to determine safe cooking temperatures.