WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) — Greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes and berries are the riskiest foods the U.S. government regulates, a non-profit says.
Sarah Klein, staff attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest and lead author of the report on food regulation said more than 1,500 separate, definable outbreaks were associated with the top 10 riskiest Food and Drug Administration-regulated foods, causing nearly 50,000 reported illnesses.
However, since most food-borne illnesses are never reported, these outbreaks are only the tip of a large hulking iceberg, Klein says.
Manure, contaminated irrigation water, or poor handling practices are all possible culprits in those outbreaks, Klein says.
“It is clearly time for FDA’s reliance on industry self-regulation to come to an end. The absence of safety plans or frequent inspections unfortunately means that some of our favorite and most healthful foods also top the list of the most risky,” Klein says in a statement.
Eggs were linked 352 outbreaks and 11,163 illnesses; tuna to 268 outbreaks and 2,341 cases of illness, and oysters — despite their limited consumption — to 132 outbreaks causing 3,409 illnesses. Outbreaks involving potatoes don’t seem to make headlines, but nevertheless they are linked to 108 outbreaks and 3,659 cases of illness, the report says.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International