Produce — not meat or dairy — is most common culprit for food poisoning

SHARE Produce — not meat or dairy — is most common culprit for food poisoning
SHARE Produce — not meat or dairy — is most common culprit for food poisoning

Do you sniff the milk before you pour it on your cereal? Eyeball the cream cheese before you put it on your bagel?

While it’s always a good idea to look out for food that may be past its prime in your fridge, dairy isn’t the most common source of food poisoning, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Neither is meat.

CDC data shows that more than 46 percent of food poisoning comes from produce — but a higher proportion of deadly food poisoning comes from meat and poultry.

Representatives from the Food and Drug Administration, the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service researched how outbreaks of Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria and Campylobacter get started, and what foods are most likely to carry each.

Food poisoning sickens 9 million people a year and kills about 1,000, according to the report. Some diseases are connected to only a couple types of food — while others can be found on many different things.

• The majority of E. Coli illness came from beef and vegetable row crops.

• Campylobacter was caused by largely dairy and chicken.

• Listeria is mostly caused by fruit and dairy.

• Salmonella poisoning was attributed to seeded vegetables,eggs, fruit, chicken, sprouts, beef and pork.

The study did not look at where the food may have been contaminated.

Produce may be more liable to make us sick because we eat most of it raw, as Vox points out.

To read more about how the group came to their conclusions, check out the report.

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