CDC: Beware the leafy greens, poultry and dairy

Original Post Date: April 30, 2013 by Dr. Matt

Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY January 29, 2013
Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach and kale accounted for the most food-borne illnesses nationwide from 1998 through 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Dairy products accounted for the most hospitalizations. The most deaths were linked to poultry.
The study looked at 4,887 outbreaks that caused 128,269 illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths when the food that caused them was known or suspected. It appears Tuesday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Epidemiologists at the CDC found that leafy greens accounted for 23% of illnesses and dairy products 14%. However, when they looked only at hospitalizations, the lineup was different: Dairy products were responsible for 16% of hospitalizations followed by leafy vegetables at 14% and poultry 12%. For deaths, poultry accounted for 19%, then dairy products at 10%.
A study published last year that looked at 13 years of outbreaks linked to dairy products found that unpasteurized milk, cheese and cream were 150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness outbreaks than pasteurized dairy foods and that such outbreaks had a hospitalization rate 13 times higher than those involving pasteurized dairy products


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