Most of us love to eat. It can be one of our favorite pastimes, munching on an assortment of delicious, delectable delights. Not all foods are created equally; some are good for us and some aren’t. But what happens when the foods that were supposed to aid us in healthy eating turn against us?
1 Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like different varieties of lettuces, spinach, cabbage and kale etc. have been reported to cause serious outbreaks of food poisoning due to the presence of harmful pathogens in it. These pathogens can be caused during any phase of production, from planting to packaging.
To avoid these harmful effects of leafy green vegetables, make sure that you always wash them thoroughly whether you bought it packaged or fresh.
According to a study by CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), Salmonella that is present in intestinal tracts of animals and birds can be transmitted to the eggs via faeces and can contaminate the food items that those animals/birds produce, such as eggs.
If you see an egg with not a perfectly cleaned shell, it is imperative that you clean it thoroughly before using it in your food.
3 Tuna fish
Scombrotoxin is a poisonous protein present in tuna fish and can be the cause of major illnesses like diarrhoea, stomach ache, loss of vision and a high blood rate.
This most commonly occurs when frozen fish has not been thawed correctly because then it starts releasing natural toxins that are dangerous to the human body. The correct way to thaw frozen fish is to defrost it without letting it come into contact with air: after taking it out from the freezer, put it in the fridge to defrost slowly.
If you have caught fresh fish, make sure you consume it immediately or put in the freezer, without letting it sit in the air for longer.
According to CSPI’s report, illnesses from oysters occurs mostly because of Norovirus and Vibrio. If the water where oysters are being harvested is contaminated with Norovirus, a harmful pathogen, then it will contaminate the oysters too and cause stomach illnesses such as gastroenteritis, an inflammation of stomach or intestines.
Vibrio can cause even more dangerous conditions like infected bloodstream, septic shock, and blistering skin lesions.
To avoid these dangerous health conditions, without giving up on this seafood delicacy, always make sure that you’ve cooked all your seafood properly. Never eat raw oysters, and ensure that cooked and raw seafood is never combined so as to avoid cross-contamination.
Who knew potatoes could be dangerous too!
But according to the study, if potatoes are not cooked properly or if they get contaminated during the handling or packaging stage of the production, they can also get infected easily. This contamination can also occur due to other infected food items in the dishes.
Contaminated potatoes can cause outbreaks related to E.coli and Salmonella. To avoid these complications, always wash the vegetables well and cook them properly.
Cheese is one food item that can never go bad, however, these can get infected with harmful bacteria and pathogens during the production phases (curdling, molding and salting) or by using unpasteurized milk.
Infected soft cheeses like feta, Brie etc. can especially be harmful to pregnant women as the pathogens present in them can cause miscarriages.
To avoid these health issues, make sure you only buy packaged cheese and from producers and buyers that you know and trust.
If any of the dairy items, fruits and nuts that are infected with harmful pathogens like Salmonella, Staphylcocus and Listeria are used in the production of ice cream, you can be sure that no matter in what form you consume it, the infection will find its way in your body.
The only way you can make sure to avoid these issues is to again only go to establishments that you know and trust. If you are making ice cream at home, buy produce from trusted stores, wash and clean the eggs, cook them properly and prepare it on a clean surface.
Salmonella is responsible for infecting tomatoes with harmful hazards. They can seep through the tomato plant through the soil and via the cracked skin of tomatoes.
Before using tomatoes in any of your foods and salads, make sure they are washed properly and have no cracks in them. And when you cook them, make sure they are cooked well.
The most common hazards associated with sprouts come from raw or undercooked varieties as they are the favorite places for Salmonella and E.coli to germinate and infect. Seeds can also become infected with these toxins due to poor handling, humidity and poor hygiene of people responsible for production and handling.
If you are eating your sprouts raw, you must make sure that you have washed them properly. Cooked sprouts have lower risks of toxic pathogens surviving in the prepared food.
The most common cause of infections by berries have been the result of their handling and packaging by an infected person. Contaminated berries can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration and stomach cramps – illnesses that can only be cured by the use of antibiotics.
Whether you are using frozen berries or fresh, always wash them thoroughly and avoid buying them from sources you do not usually go to or entirely trust.