Alisteria Outbreak Linked to Fruits: CDC Urges Consumer Vigilance
An outbreak of Alisteria, traced back to peaches, plums, and nectarines, has instigated a health crisis across seven states in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 11 cases with one unfortunate fatality. The fruits in question were distributed by HMC Farms, with sales records spanning May 1 to November 15 in 2022 and 2023.
Prevalence of Foodborne Illnesses
Foodborne illnesses are no stranger to the American populace. CDC’s estimates suggest the occurrence of 48 million such cases annually. A staggering figure that underlines the gravity of this public health issue and the importance of food safety. After becoming extremely ill from food poisoning, Meghan Elarde switched to hydroponic lettuce, deeming it a safer alternative to bagged lettuce. Bagged lettuce, often associated with frequent illnesses, outbreaks, and recalls, unsurprisingly tops Consumer Reports’ ’10 Risky Recalled Foods’ list.
The Hidden Risks
Food microbiologist Sana Mujahid warns about the inherent risks of pre-cut fruits and vegetables. The process of cutting exposes more surface area to potential contaminants, increasing the likelihood of bacterial growth. Mujahid recommends purchasing whole items to minimize contamination risks. Other foods making the ‘risky list’ include cheese, deli meats, ground beef, onions, turkey, chicken, papaya, melons, and flour.
From Farm to Table: The Contamination Journey
The journey of food from field to processing plant and finally to your plate is fraught with potential contamination points. Properly washing and cooking food, being vigilant about recalls, and practicing safe food handling are essential preventive measures. CDC’s grim statistics reveal more than 3,000 annual fatalities in the U.S. due to foodborne illnesses.
Janet Shamlian, a CBS News correspondent, emphasizes the need for increased food safety awareness. Consumers should stay informed about potential food risks and take the necessary precautions to protect their health.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.