Salads: The Biggest Food Poisoning Culprit

Attention all leafy green lovers, you are at the highest risk of getting food poisoning from those amazing salads you enjoy everyday at lunch.

In one of the most comprehensive reports conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughy 1 in 5 illnesses were contacted from leafy greens, according to CBS News, making them the most common culprit out of any other foods.

And it’t not just green vegetables that run a high risk for food poisoning, produce in general ran a high risk as did fruits.

Some of the most common reasons as to why fruits and vegetables can make us sick include coming into contact with animal waste and dirty water during harvest, and contamination from the kitchen or restaurant the food is handled and prepared in.

At this moment people are especially worried about their produce, romaine lettuce specifically, due to the recent outbreak of E. coli from contaminated lettuce hailing from Arizona.

Currently, the outbreak has spread to 49 states with 149 people requiring medical attention from the bacteria. There has been one recorded death in California since the outbreak, according to The Washington Post.

California is still in the lead with 30 known cases of people sick. Health officials are urging people to avoid eating romaine lettuce and any bagged salad or mixed greens from the grocery store.

Although one farm in Yuma, Arizona, is known to be the source of the contaminated lettuce, there are cases where the lettuce did not come from the Yuma region.

Bagged lettuce and lettuce sold to restaurants not necessarily from Yuma have also been causing people to fall ill, and the contamination could have happened at any point during the production process.

Because of this it is hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing the contamination and how to contain it, especially since Yuma provides much of the US with romaine lettuce this time of year, and so many mixed greens include romaine.

Not only is the E. coli outbreak making it difficult for salad lovers to safely enjoy their mixed vegetable melodies, now with salad being one of the biggest culprits for food poisoning, it might make it difficult to enjoy salad at all for the time being.

However, although salad poses a higher risk, poultry is still the leading cause of death for those with severe food poisoning.