Study says leafy greens top food poisoning source

Associated Press
FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007 file photo, a lettuce worker washes romaine lettuce in Salinas, Calif. Leafy green vegetables were the leading source of food poisoning over an 11-year period, federal health officials say, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. However, the most food-related deaths were from contaminated chicken and other poultry. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
.

View gallery

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007 file photo, a lettuce worker washes romaine lettuce in Salinas, …

NEW YORK (AP) — A big government study has fingered leafy greens like lettuce and spinach as the leading source of food poisoning, a perhaps uncomfortable conclusion for health officials who want us to eat our vegetables.

"Most meals are safe," said Dr. Patricia Griffin, a government researcher and one of the study's authors who said the finding shouldn't discourage people from eating produce. Experts repeated often-heard advice: Be sure to wash those foods or cook them thoroughly.

While more people may have gotten sick from plants, more died from contaminated poultry, the study also found. The results were released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans — or 48 million people— gets sick from food poisoning. That includes 128,000 hospitalization and 3,000 deaths, according to previous CDC estimates.

The new report is the most comprehensive CDC has produced on the sources of food poisoning, covering the years 1998 through 2008. It reflects the agency's growing sophistication at monitoring illnesses and finding their source.

What jumped out at the researchers was the role fruits and vegetables played in food poisonings, said Griffin, who heads the CDC office that handles foodborne infection surveillance and analysis.

About 1 in 5 illnesses were linked to leafy green vegetables — more than any other type of food. And nearly half of all food poisonings were attributed to produce in general, when illnesses from other fruits and vegetables were added in.

It's been kind of a tough month for vegetables. A controversy erupted when Taco Bell started airing a TV ad for its variety 12-pack of tacos, with a voiceover saying that bringing a vegetable tray to a football party is "like punting on fourth-and-1." It said that people secretly hate guests who bring vegetables to parties.

The fast-food chain on Monday announced it was pulling the commercial after receiving complaints that it discouraged people from eating vegetables.

Without actually saying so, the CDC report suggests that the Food and Drug Administration should devote more staff time and other resources to inspection of fruits and vegetables, said Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety.

Earlier this month, the FDA released a proposed new rule for produce safety that would set new hygiene standards for farm workers and for trying to reduce contact with animal waste and dirty water.

Meanwhile, CDC officials emphasized that their report should not be seen as discouraging people from eating vegetables.

Many of the vegetable-related illnesses come from norovirus, which is often spread by cooks and food handlers. So contamination sometimes has more to do with the kitchen or restaurant it came from then the food itself, Griffin noted.

Also, while vegetable-related illnesses were more common, they were not the most dangerous. The largest proportion of foodborne illness deaths — about 1 in 5 — were due to poultry. That was partly because three big outbreaks more than 10 years ago linked to turkey deli meat.

But it was close. CDC estimated 277 poultry-related deaths in 1998-2008, compared to 236 vegetable-related deaths.

Fruits and nuts were credited with 96 additional deaths, making 334 total deaths for produce of all types. The CDC estimated 417 deaths from all kinds of meat and poultry, another 140 from dairy and 71 from eggs.

Red meat was once seen as one of the leading sources of food poisoning, partly because of a deadly outbreak of E. coli associated with hamburger. But Griffin and Doyle said there have been significant safety improvements in beef handling. In the study, beef was the source of fewer than 4 percent of food-related deaths and fewer than 7 percent of illnesses.

____

Online:

CDC journal: http://www.cdc.gov/eid/

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • 'Put up the picture again': Chris Wallace uses photos to confront Trump chief of staff over false crowd-size claims

      Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday over...

      Business Insider
    • Trump faces lawsuit for violating Constitution two days after taking oath

      An all-star team of lawyers, including two leading experts on presidential ethics and two of the most prominent constitutional scholars in the nation, will file a lawsuit on Monday challenging President Trump’s ongoing violation of an anti-corruption provision in the Constitution. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, does regular business with foreign governments, presenting them with an opportunity to launder unconstitutional gifts to the president. Although Trump announced at a press conference prior to his inauguration that he would take some steps to insulate himself from his company, Norm Eisen, former chief ethics counsel to President Obama and Richard Painter, who held the same job under President George W. Bush, released a statement saying that these steps are insufficient.

      ThinkProgress q
    • 'Mariah's World': Mariah Carey Convinces Boyfriend Bryan Tanaka to Stay on Tour with Sexy Lap Dance

      Plus, seven more can't-miss moments -- crowns! weed brownies! homoeroticism! -- from the latest episode of the diva's docu-series.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • No More Boring Cars: Lexus Goes Bold With the LS500 Luxury Sedan

      Lexus comes to Detroit with its bold LC500 luxury sedan. With its sights set on the best from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, Lexus isn't being bashful.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Carly Fiorina reacts to the Women's March on Washington

      Former presidential candidate suggests on 'Sunday Morning Futures' that demonstrators give the new president time

      Fox Business Videos
    • Police stop armed men patrolling Texas neighborhood after viral arrest

      Authorities in Texas stopped an armed patrol and a group of young boys Saturday who said they were out to patrol the streets after a woman seen struggling during an arrest said she didn’t feel safe in her neighborhood. According to Fox 4 News, the support for Jacqueline Craig in Fort Worth lasted about 20 minutes. Neighbors said the group had someone yell through a loudspeaker while others were screaming profanities. They said they were worried the march could’ve become violent. "I didn't find anything alarming myself. I didn't find anything out of the norm. Police officers have guns, but they don't protect," Roderick Smith, a spokesman for Craig, told Fox 4 News. "She said it meant a lot to

      Fox News q
    • Dear Abby: I'm mistreated by friend's teenage kid

      DEAR ABBY: I have had a best friend for more than 20 years. We met when we were 18 and have been inseparable ever since. I was best man in his wedding, and when his first child was born, I traveled six hours to be at the hospital when “Sara” was born. I have never missed a birthday or Christmas. When my friend announced his family was moving from Ohio to Arizona, I knew I couldn’t be away from him and his family, so I moved as well. I have no family of my own, and I adore his two girls. Well, Sara turned 13 this year and like most teenagers, she’s distancing herself from her family and even more so from me. When her mom and dad invite me for dinner or a family get-together, she barely acknowledges

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • Tom Brady wore a giant coat against the Steelers and we loved it

      Sorry not sorry. Tom Brady is trying to keep warm on the sidelines of the AFC Championship in this little big number.Of course, we cannot confirm that this is Brady and not eight children stacked on top of each other pretending to be an adult professional football player.It looks like this contraption has a hood on it, too, so it’s possible he could disappear completely inside, becoming nothing more than a mass of Patriot-themed nylon and polyester insulation. ...

      SB Nation q
    • Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'

      In 2010, physicist Stephen Hawking voiced concern about the possibility that we might contact...

      Business Insider
    • The Latest: Watchdog group says it will sue President Trump

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):

      Associated Press
    • 10 Facts About Charles Manson's Imprisonment That Will Disgust You

      Infamous convicted murderer Charles Manson has spent nearly five decades imprisoned since his death sentence in 1971 was commuted to life. Suffice it to say that his peculiar behavior behind bars is far from that of a model prisoner. The following 10 facts take a glimpse into the life of a caged madman as well as the bizarre fan base his lunacy attracts. 10 A Disturbing Fan Base Despite the fact that Manson undoubtedly has had a lot of “alone” time—over four decades locked away in protective custody in a California state prison—he receives plenty of fan mail to keep him occupied as well as continuous meet-and-greet requests. In fact, Manson has received more mail than any other prisoner in the

      Listverse q
    • Ariana Grande has an actual twin – only, they’re not related at all

      Some people look so alike, we think they’re related, but then we learn they’re not. Did you know that Ariana Grande has…

      Hello Giggles
    • Why No One Likes Adam Sandler Anymore

      Sandler's nasty attitude and his constant failures with critics should be enough to kill his career, but even all that hasn't done it yet.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Discarded protest signs from the Women’s March in NYC (28 photos)

      Following the march in New York City, protesters left behind thousands of signs around Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower. Many signs left near a construction site were taken home by admirers as souvenirs. One group of placards was made into an art installation on East 57th Street, while many of these great signs were discarded near receptacles along Fifth Avenue waiting for sanitation. (Yahoo News) Photography by Gordon Donovan /Yahoo News _____ Related slideshows: Slideshow: Signs of the Women's March around the world >>> Slideshow: Women's March on Washington, D.C. >>> Slideshow: Women’s March around the world >>> Slideshow: How newspapers covered President's Trump inauguration >>> Slideshow: Anti-Trump inauguration protests break out in U.S. >>> Slideshow: Protests worldwide against the inauguration of Donald Trump >>> Slideshow: Obama's Washington >>> Slideshow: Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day >>> Slideshow: 66 hands on 66 Bibles >>> See more news-related photo galleries , and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.  

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • 1 dead, multiple injured San Antonio shopping mall shooting

      SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said.

      Associated Press
    • Did Karen Pence and Her Blue Dress Steal the Show at the Inauguration Ball?

      All eyes were on the presidential procession during President Trump’s inauguration, and that includes getting a first look at some of the fashion choices of the new first family. However, it was Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, who according to some observers stole the show in a dazzling blue number at the evening inaugural ball.

      Yahoo Style
    • Tom Brady’s Big A– Sideline Coat Draws Hilarious Comparisons

      Kellyanne Conway isn’t the only one getting called out for her cold weather attire.

      The Wrap
    • 23 suggested excuses Roger Goodell can use to skip the Patriots Super Bowl

      This Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl might end up being the most painful experience of Roger Goodell’s life. Going to Houston to watch the Patriots play after the whole Deflategate disaster is going to be worse for the commissioner than getting dry sockets after your wisdom teeth are yanked. In fact, Goodell, you might not want to check your Twitter mentions for a while — and by a while I mean, oh, maybe, EVER AGAIN — because trust me: I speak from experience when I say hell hath no fury like a Patriots fan scorned.

      SB Nation q
    • CNN Declines to Air White House Press Conference Live

      CNN this evening declined to air live a press conference with the nation’s new White House Press Secretary, pointing to a growing rift between the embryonic Trump administration and the press corps that covers it and undermining the credibility of Sean Spicer, a longtime Republican operative who has become the new spokesman for President Donald... Read more »

      Variety
    • Trump claims 1.5 million people came to his inauguration. Here's what the evidence shows.

      President Donald Trump just excoriated the media for — in his view — massively understating the size of his inaugural crowds. “I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field,” Trump said at a speech Saturday afternoon at the CIA. “We had 250,000 people literally around in the little ball we constructed.” In other words, 250,000 people had been given tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, which is what the Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Ceremonies told CNN.

      Vox.com q