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Food-Borne Illness More Likely With Vegetables Than Meat

The CDC doesn't want you to stop eating vegetables. Just be sure to wash both the produce and your hands first.

spinach leaves

Photo: faria! (Flickr)

23 percent of all food-borne illnesses were caused by contaminated leafy vegetables like spinach.

Soiled Spinach

When it comes to food-related illnesses, produce is more to blame than meat.

A new report from the Center for Disease Control found that every year one in six people fall ill from food-borne bacteria. 46 percent of those illness are caused by produce.

According to the CDC, “produce” is defined as fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Leafy vegetables like spinach dominate food-based illnesses, causing 23 percent of all sicknesses. Norovirus is mostly to blame, transferred onto leafy vegetables through water contaminated by fecal matter.

Meat Or Veggies?

4.4 million are sickened from bacteria found in produce a year, compared to 2.1 sickened from bacteria found in meat.

However, those sickened by bacteria found in meat are more likely to die from food-borne illness than those sickened from bacteria found on produce.

The CDC doesn’t want people to stop eating vegetables. When properly cleaned, they say produce is safe to eat.

Read More:

  • Vegetables Big Culprit in Food Illness (Wall Street Journal)
  • Veggies To Blame For Majority Of Foodborne Illness (TIME)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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