From spinach to peanut butter, consumers have weathered plenty of food scares recently. So the Center for Science in the Public Interest combed through CDC data to identify the foods most likely to harbor foodborne illness. Starting with the most dangerous:
- Leafy greens: Your salad could easily be coated in germs. It’s been responsible for 363 outbreaks, most frequently playing host to the pathogen norovirus.
- Eggs: Often infected with salmonella while still in the ovaries of otherwise healthy birds.
- Tuna: In addition to the well-known mercury issue, the fish decays quickly, releasing a toxin that cooking can’t eliminate.
- Oysters: Sometimes harvested from water contaminated with norovirus, raw oysters are frequent culprits.
- Potatoes: Involved in 108 outbreaks, but usually while in potato salad, possibly indicating cross-contamination from other ingredients.
- Cheese: Though cheese made with pasteurized milk is generally safe, Mexican cheese and soft cheeses like feta and brie are risky—especially for pregnant women.
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