What do strawberries and oysters have in common? Both make the list of the top ten foods responsible for the most outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1990 in the United States. Oysters, okay–but berries?
A century ago, typhoid fever, tuberculosis and cholera were the common foodborne diseases. Improvements in food safety (think pasteurization, safe canning, disinfection of water supplies) have conquered those diseases–but a host of other foodborne diseases have stepped up to the plate, so to speak, to take their places. Foodborne disease outbreaks are currently responsible for tens of millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths every year in the United States.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) published their report of the top ten riskiest foods (FDA Top Ten) overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is responsible for regulating produce, seafood, egg and dairy products, as well as packaged foods such as cookie dough and peanut butter. The FDA regulates nearly 80 percent of the American food supply. From the CSPI, here they are–followed by precautions from the CDC on how to reduce the risk: