This Food-Prep Practice May Save Your Life
- You don’t have to be one of the 48 million Americans that suffer from a preventable illness this year
- This unsuspecting type of bacteria-laced food is probably in your fridge right now
- Rewashing the pre-washed may not be such a bad idea after all.
Last week, I became very confused when I got to the produce section of my local grocer.
Once I passed by the pre-chopped veggies and mushrooms, I found an empty space in the refrigerated case where all of the pre-washed bags of salad usually are.
Since Baltimore was gearing up for Snowzilla, I just assumed it was part of the pre-blizzard food-hoarding madness.
However, I do recall finding it bizarre and thinking to myself, Bagged salad is an interesting choice for blizzard food.
Once I got home and looked at the news, I realized the lack of salad sacks wasn’t due to them being snatched up by worried consumers with the snow jitters but rather to having been taken off the shelves due to a recall.
As you may have already heard, the most recent foodborne illness outbreak in the U.S. is due to Listeria bacteria in bagged salads.
Listeria can cause infections that affect the gastrointestinal tract and have symptoms of fever, diarrhea, nausea, stiffness, aches, headaches — and even death.1 So far, is outbreak has taken only one life, but foodborne illnesses take many lives every year.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates nearly 1,600 Americans suffer illness and 260 die annually due to Listeria infections.2
These might seem like small statistics for such a country of almost 319 million, but the dangers of foodborne illness aren’t limited to just Listeria.
In reality, there are several types of bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses, and the leading source of these stomach-churning contaminants may shock you.
Today, I will share the first line of defense in reducing your foodborne illness exposures.
First let’s find out a little bit more about what can make you sick and how it finds its way on to our plates.
There Is More to be Scared of than Chicken
Per the CDC, 48 million Americans suffer annually from a foodborne illness. Of these 48 million, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.3
These stats are a little more alarming than those for Listeria alone.
If you’re like me, your brain probably went straight to poultry, eggs, beef, and dairy.
And who can blame us? It is very common to hear about the dangers of salmonella (typically found in poultry and eggs) and E. coli (found in beef) on the news or from a family member.
You may remember a parent, a partner, or even a teacher telling you to never eat raw cookie dough because of salmonella poisoning. Or to always be sure to order a well-done steak and not a rare burger so you don’t get E. coli or mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans.
In fact, according to David Plunkett, senior food safety attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), “You are twice as likely to get sick from eating a serving of chicken as from eating a serving of vegetables.”4
So your mom was right about those about avoiding those raw eggs and making sure to clean up after handing raw chicken.
But meat, eggs, and dairy products aren’t the only players in the food poisoning game — produce is too.
And the chances of produce making you sick increases when it is in the same areas as meats, poultry, and dairy.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stop eating produce.
Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy and vitamin-rich diet. They are essential to complete nutrition.
So what can you do to keep them in your diet and keep the illness out?
Wash, wash, wash.
Let me share with you some helpful tips.
Keep It Clean
Washing your produce seems like a no-brainer to keep contaminants out of your food.
Studies done by the University of Maine conclude that plain ol’ tap water is your first line of defense when warding off foodborne illness. In fact, a thorough H2O rinse of your fruits and veggies can kill 98 percent of the bacteria lurking on it.5
(If you have questionable tap water quality, you can always use filtered water.)
Be sure you are washing in a clean sink and/or food prep area so as to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.
In addition to reducing dangerous bacteria, washing your produce also removes harmful pesticides.
While some folks don’t think their produce is clean unless they have used a produce wash, this may not be true. Evidence indicates that water is just as effective, and it’s a bit unclear if the residue washes leave is safe to eat.5
If you have any produce washing hacks or concerns about foodborne illnesses, let me know! email@example.com
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
P.S. If you are interested in learning better buying practices at the supermarket for produce and more, stay tuned! In the next few weeks, Living Well Daily will give you the opportunity to claim our new report, How to Survive the Supermarket. This special report will help you navigate the aisles of the grocery store and help you choose foods that are nutritional assets to your diet. In addition, It will reveal the newest ways food companies are getting GMOs into your grocery bags and how to avoid them.
Written By Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.
View More Free Articles
You know what the world DOESN’T need? A new pill for diabetes. But Big Pharma – and the FDA – don’t agree. The FDA just approved a new pill to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. But there’s a HUGE problem with this new drug… it CAUSES CANCER. Here’s how to stay...
As you age, it can seem like your metabolism comes to a screeching halt. And when it does, your energy tanks… and you start packing on the pounds. Even worse? You could find yourself on the fast track to dangerous diseases like diabetes and heart disease. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Because...
If you or your loved one has Alzheimer’s, you’d probably do just about anything to reverse the disease. That’s why it’s easy to submit when your mainstream doc suggests taking meds. The only problem? There’s not a single Alzheimer’s drug on the market that actually WORKS. And if that’s bad enough… research now shows that...
If you’ve got cancer, the only thing on your mind is surviving it. But the mainstream makes that difficult at every turn. The chemo… radiation… and even “safe” immunotherapies all come with a price. Now it looks like a popular class of conventional drugs can sabotage your chances of surviving cancer. And chances are you’ve...
You know those red lights that pop us on your car’s dashboards? They’re signs that somethings wrong with your car. Well, your body has the same type of warning system. And if you’re a man of 50, you shouldn’t be looking for a red light… Instead, you should be calling the doctor if you’re having...
If you’re like most of my senior patients, you’ve probably lost count of the number of times you’ve walked into a room… and totally forgot why you went in there in the first place. Or had to drive BACK to the grocery store for that one forgotten item. But most mainstream brain health solutions are...
If you’re anything like my senior patients, your biggest fear is losing your memories… and independence. And why shouldn’t it be? No one wants to saddle their family with the cost and stress of taking care of them as they grow older. But it seems like the mainstream is hell bent on seeing this happen...
As you age, keeping your brain in tip-top shape should be your most important health goal. Because without a healthy brain, you will slowly lose your memories… your health… and your independence. But your mainstream doc is NO HELP. He’ll just put you on a strict diet and give you a bunch of nasty, worthless...
If you’re anything like my senior patients, you’d do just about anything to live longer. That’s why you have up smoking… never skip your daily walk… and try to eat more veggies. But as it turns out there’s a certain drink you also NEED to avoid to stay out of an early grave. Your mainstream...
There’s all kinds of advice out there on the best way to get the most out of your workout. You know… post-exercise protein shakes… drinking water… and taking supplements. But what you don’t hear about is what you SHOULD’NT do after a workout. As it turns out there’s one weird thing you should avoid at...