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

    • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ son is 19 now and the internet is freaking out over how attractive he is

      Beautiful people often have beautiful kids, and this is no exception. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ oldest son is 19 and super…

      Hello Giggles
    • Why Alec Baldwin Thinks Trump Tweets Signal Something Sinister

      Before you dismiss President-elect Donald Trump’s latest Twitter tirade against Alec Baldwin, consider the actor’s response to the soon-to-be world leader. Baldwin is not alone in raising alarm bells over Trump’s ostentatious statements, many of which he tweets for his 16.6 million followers to see.

      The Wrap
    • Willie Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Walks Daughter Rebecca Down the Aisle in Mexico Wedding

      Rebecca Robertson tied the knot with John Reed Loflin in Mexico on Saturday. The beautiful bride was walked down the aisle by her father Willie, Duck Commander CEO and star of the A&E reality series. Rebecca’s sister and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Sadie Robertson was one of the many wedding attendees to share their memories of the big day on Instagram using the hashtag #LoflinWeddedWife. “WOW WOW WOW what a wedding,” Sadie captioned a photo with the bride and family members Bella and Mary-Kate. “Every single moment was just absolutely priceless.

      People
    • Video: Growing Outrage Over Road Rage Death of Former NFL Player

      The admitted shooter of Joe McKnight was released without charges while authorities investigate the case.

      ABC News q
    • Video Appears To Shows Man Punching Kangaroo After Finding It Strangling Dog

      It may be one of the most bizarre battles fought in the animal kingdom.  A video uploaded to Facebook on Saturday appears to show a man punching a kangaroo in its face after coming across the marsupial attacking a dog.  The video, which has been viewed more than 3.6 million times as of Sunday afternoon, shows the man running up to the canine-kangaroo skirmish. “Well, we’re not sure what’s going on here but the roo has the dog, not the other way around,” a man narrating the video says. Upon seeing the man, the kangaroo pauses. The distraction allows the wriggling dog to break free, sparking a near eye-to-eye boxing match between the man and the kangaroo.  The man throws a punch at the kangaroo

      The Huffington Post q
    • Kylie Jenner Flaunts Her Famous Curves in Cutout Bikini on Miami Vacay

      Welcome to Miami. Kylie Jenner is currently living it up in the Magic City with her rapper boyfriend Tyga, and you better believe that she has the bikini photos to prove it. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star shared a pair of snaps on her Instagram account today which feature her rocking a black two-piece swimsuit that has a sexy cutout top and shows off all of her bodacious curves. In the images, the 19-year-old wears her long brunette strands in loose waves as she lounges on a white l

      InStyle
    • Dear Abby: As his mother, wife feud, he must take a side

      DEAR ABBY: I am a happily married man with one problem that doesn’t go away. I convinced my wife, “Ellen,” to move to Florida so we could be close to my family, but now she doesn’t trust them because of an altercation she had with my mother. Ellen says Mom made negative comments about her and lied about it. My intention was for everyone to come together as a family, but now I feel I must decide whether I can be a part of the family. If I do, my wife feels I am saying it’s OK for my family to hurt her. If I don’t, I’ll feel I’m missing out on spending time with them. Ellen no longer wants anything to do with my family and wants them to apologize. It has been a rough four years being trapped in

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • We compared Popeyes and KFC fried chicken — here's the verdict

      In the ultimate fried-chicken blind taste test, we compared the original recipe from Popeyes and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was almost too close to call, but our reporters came away with a clear winner.

      Business Insider q
    • A Gunman Has Been Detained At A DC Pizza Restaurant That Was At The Center Of A Fake Clinton Conspiracy

      On Sunday afternoon, a lone gunman entered the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, a popular pizza and family establishment in Washington D.C., and fired several shots. According to the Washington Post, Police Chief Peter Newsham stated his belief that the incident was not terror related, although the gunman’s motive remains unclear. Newsham was also quick to note that this restaurant was tied to fake news and conspiracy theories, which circulated earlier this year, about the Clinton campaign.

      UPROXX
    • Fidel Castro laid to rest (37 photos)

      Beyond those few clues, the details of Fidel Castro’s final resting place were one of the most tightly kept secrets in Cuba. That ended on Sunday morning, when the revolutionary leader’s ashes were interred in a private ceremony and shortly afterward the world got a glimpse of a tomb that will immediately become one of the most important sites on the island. Once the ceremony ended shortly before 9 a.m., journalists and Cuban mourners were allowed into the cemetery to see the tomb, a simple round stone about 15 feet high with an emerald-colored plaque bearing Castro’s name. The tomb stood to the side of a memorial to the rebel soldiers killed in an attack that Castro led on Santiago’s Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953, and in front of the mausoleum of Cuban national hero Jose Marti. A dozen uniformed soldiers stood in front of the stone. Cuban officials have said nothing about future access to Castro’s tomb, but its apparent location alongside Marti’s, a grand site heavily visited by tourists and Cubans alike, indicates that there will be continuing of public access to the grave of the man who led Cuba for nearly 50 years and died on Nov. 25 at 90. (AP) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Alec Baldwin promises to stop playing Donald Trump on SNL on one condition and we love it

      When you become the president elect of the United States, you automatically open yourself up to being impersonated on Saturday Night Live. It’s basically…

      Hello Giggles
    • NYPD: Men yelled 'Donald Trump', tried to pull off victim's hijab on subway

      18-year-old Yasmine Seweid is recounting the ugly attack that happened on Thursday night. It was around 10 p.m. when the college student jumped on the 6 train to head home to New Hyde Park, when she noticed three young men in the car.

      WABC – NY
    • 'Justice League': 6 Spoilers From the New Trailer

      We may be a ways off from the release of the 'Justice League' movie, but DC amped up the anticipation by releasing a bunch of new footage at Comic-Con.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Windsor: Hard to believe Orange Bowl is a consolation prize for Michigan

      This one will sting for a while, for Michigan’s seniors in particular. Their coach, Jim Harbaugh, is building a program in Ann Arbor, and he will get his shot at the College Football Playoff soon enough. Yet for seniors like Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley and Jourdan Lewis – NFL-level talents all – this season was it. It was their chance to compete for a national title only two years after finishing 5-7. Instead, they’ll settle for the Orange Bowl, a place they would’ve jumped at when they signed on at U-M under Brady Hoke four years ago. As consolation prizes, it’s not a bad one. But it’s still a consolation. ►Related: See how Michigan stacks up against Florida State ►Related: Michigan football

      Detroit Free Press q
    • Peta Murgatroyd And Maksim Chmerkovskiy Kicked Out Of Birthing Class

      Maksim Chmerkovskiy said he’s traumatized after he and Peta Murgatroyd were kicked out of their first birthing class.

      International Business Times
    • Walking Dead Recap: Scorn This Way

      Did The Walking Dead somehow think that we didn’t already hate Negan enough? Perhaps. Because Sunday’s episode sure seemed designed to make us loathe him more. Over the course of the plus-sized “Sing Me a Song,” he made one character wet his pants and several others cry, treated Daryl like a scruffy butler and got […]

      TVLine.com
    • Pregnant Tori Spelling Steps Out with Her Family for Early Christmas Celebrations

      It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the Spelling-McDermott brood! The family of six attended the 6th Annual Santa’s Secret Workshop in West Hollywood benefiting L.A. Family Housing, an organization that aides the homeless.

      People
    • 'Last roll of the dice' for Madeleine McCann police probe

      It's been nearly 10 years since Madeleine McCann went missing in the Algarve in Portugal without a trace. But detectives are said to be having a "last roll of the dice" after being tipped that Madeleine may have been taken by European traffickers.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Chris Pratt FINALLY gives us a pic of Jennifer Lawrence on his Instagram — but it’s not what you would think

      If you follow Chris Pratt on Instagram, you might have noticed the recent cameos by Jennifer Lawrence. Sort of. See, all the Chris…

      Hello Giggles
    • 'Why is it refreshing to make false statements?': Stephanopoulos grills Mike Pence on Trump voter-fraud claim

      George Stephanopoulos grilled Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Sunday over President-elect...

      Business Insider