Avoid Food-borne Illness

Reader Contribution by Staff

There’s a lot of scary stuff in the news these days about food-borne illness. Whether it’s E.coli in spinach and meat, or salmonella in eggs, it’s hard to know what is safe.

In a study from Harvard Medical School, three nasty types of bacteria were identified as frequent offenders. It’s not surprising that E.coli and salmonella made the list, but were you aware that antibiotic-resistant campylobacter was found in 17 percent of chickens sampled from supermarkets in four states, according to a 2001 report published by the New England Journal of Medicine

Research has shown that factory-farming practices exacerbate the problem with overuse of antibiotics and filthy living conditions. Hopefully someday regulations will exist to clean up our food production systems, but until then, how do you stay healthy? Here are some general food safety precautions:

  1. Buy fresh, buy local.
  2. Know how to handle raw meat, and how to cook it properly.
  3. I know you don’t want to waste, but dispose of food that’s past its prime. (Here’s another good guide.)

These days, you can’t afford to be careless.