Outdoor eating is one of the greatest joys of summertime. Unfortunately, the escalated temperatures and lack of access to clean water can significantly bump up picnickers' chances of contracting a foodborne illness like salmonella, campylobacter or listeria.
About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so don't spoil your summer! Just take these four simple steps to stay safe and well-fed all season long.
Aliya's Food Limited, a Canadian exporter of Indian food products, announced Monday that it has issued a recall of 4,865 pounds of frozen butter chicken and rice products on fears of listeria contamination.
Following suit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a public alert because affected products were imported to the United States and sold at the Trader Joe's chain of grocery stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C.
The tainted products are: "12.5 oz boxes of "Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice" with product code "2012-10-31" and lot code "30512."
An analysis in the January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine revealed 69% of pork chops and ground pork that the organization sampled from around the U.S. tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica, a bacteria that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can result in fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Consumer Reports also found 3-7% of the samples harbored salmonella, staphylococcus aureus or listeria monocytogenes, other common pathogens for foodborne illness. Twenty-three percent of the samples contained none of the tested bacteria.
Of the 198 samples, the organization found other alleged complications with the "other white meat." The sampling also claims that some of the bacteria were resistant to typical antibiotics that are used to treat foodborne illnesses, such as amoxicillin, penicillin, tetracycline and streptomycin. Of the 132 samples with Yersinia enterocolitica, 121 of those were resistant to one or more antibiotics.
"The frequent use of low-dose antibiotics in pork farming may be accelerating the growth of drug-resistant 'superbugs' that threaten human health," said Consumer Reports.
Despite sweeping reform of food safety laws intended to make what we eat less dangerous, the number of Americans falling ill or dying from contaminated food has increased 44% in the past two years alone, according to a report released Wednesday.
Tainted cantaloupe, unsafe mangoes, meat and the recent peanut butter recall - which so far has infected 25 people, mostly children, in 19 states - has left consumers struggling to keep up with the dizzying list of ever-changing toxic edibles.