When you can’t sleep because your stomach is turning or you find yourself spending the evening on the toilet, you’re either sick or suffering from food poisoning. An estimated 48 million people get foodborne illness in the U.S. annually. A new report by the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration looked at four major pathogens to determine what foods are often responsible for transmitting the bacteria that make people sick. The report took a closer look at the pathogens E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter to find out.
These four heavy hitters are just a few of the many bacteria responsible for foodborne illnesses, and the World Health Organization reports an increasing number of cases. Everything from undercooked meat, contaminated fruits and vegetables, and toxin-filled shellfish can cause the stomach-wrenching sickness we all try to avoid. Next time you find yourself worried about the cleanliness of a restaurant’s kitchen or the quality of ingredients, make it easy on yourself by just avoiding the following foods, which the IFASC reports commonly carry the four main pathogens.
According to the IFSAC report, beef caused 46% of E. coli cases. The biggest culprit is often an American favorite: hamburgers. If you’re eating out or aren’t sure of the quality of the meat used to make your burger, order it medium to well-done, then check to make sure there isn’t any pink in the center of the hamburger. If you’re cooking at home, use a meat thermometer to ensure the center of the meat is heated to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit at its thickest point.