Latest Scary Salmonella Outbreak Wrecks Another Favorite Food

Health Check 5

sushi salmonella outbreakFrom peanut butter to cantaloupes and even oh-so-innocent-seeming spinach, some of our favorite foods have recently been linked to Salmonella. Now, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 93 people plus are sick due to an outbreak that might be connected to the consumption of sushi and other raw fish. So far, 10 people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Ugh. Not my spicy yellowtail rolls with brown rice!! Well, the good news is that nothing is in stone yet, and since Salmonella outbreaks linked to sushi are rare, experts say there's really no reason to start skipping it. In fact, the Salmonella might not even have originated in the fish itself. The culprit may have been the way it was prepared or what it came in contact with, like the ice it was packed in.

While I'm psyched I can continue to chow down on my beloved maki rolls, we still have reason to worry ...

Even if you don't adore raw fish, it is disturbing to think that these various "unusual suspect"-type foods keep cropping up as infected with the bacteria. Why is this happening?

President Obama actually took a step toward quashing the dilemma last year when he signed a federal law that is supposed to shift the FDA's focus to prevention instead of reacting to problems like this. But so far, the law hasn't been enacted, because the administration has yet to issue wide-ranging standards under the law. Drrr, frustrating. It seems like we're so close, but still so far from preempting these kinds of outbreaks before they begin.

In the meantime, we're left feeling a bit hopeless and clueless about the quality of our favorite food. All we can do is trust that the government is making some kind of attempt to make sure it is safe. Color me skeptical ... I know we can't worry about every little thing, and if you get sick, there are ways to treat a Salmonella infection. But we should still hope that the government gets their act together soon, because we shouldn't have to worry at all that our favorite foods may be making us ill.

Does this concern you?


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butte... butterflyfreak

Honestly, I'm tired of all the hysteria over food-borne illnesses. Yes, it's serious, but why do we keep expecting the government to hold our hand and make sure everything is safe? Why don't we *GASP* accept some accountability. I'm sorry but if you eat sushi or ANYTHING that has been prepared for you by someone else, you are taking that risk. Don't want to get sick? Then cook your own damn food! Not that hard, then you can make sure produce is washed properly and cooked to the correct temperature.

craft... craftycatVT

If you're eating raw fish, you really shouldn't be that surprised when you get sick from it.

nonmember avatar Mae Johnson

The government has to make sure everything is safe because big business does not. Before the Pure Food Act of 1906, companies put chalk in milk to make it look thicker and treated meat with arsenic to hide rot. Where's the accountability with big business? Huge corporations are allowed to sell you meat that is contaminated with bacteria; it's not illegal until someone gets sick. The government isn't doing very much to protect citizens against sloppy and dishonest businesses. And there is no "hysteria" over foodborne illness. More than 120,000 Americans are hospitalized with food poisoning every year, and 3,000 of them DIE. At a cost of $78 billion. Why don't you look into the eyes of a child who's been paralyzed or lost kidney function because they ate a hamburger and then whine about "hysteria". You don't think that's something to be concerned about??

butte... butterflyfreak

I didn't say it wasn't serious, I just think people need to take a little more personal accountability. Most of the time the bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can be eliminated with PROPER storage, handling and cooking. That means making sure your refrigerator and freezer are set at the right temperature, washing your hands, avoiding cross contamination by keeping meats on the bottom shelves and thoroughly washing cutting boards and knives after using on meats before using for anything else, make sure foods are cooked to the correct temperature. THAT'S why I say to cook for yourself if it's such a concern because if you go out to eat, you are taking a risk on how well-trained that restaurant staff is on food safety. And even the best trained staff has to deal with jerk bosses that will give them a hard time about calling in sick too much so they might go to work sick JUST SO THEY DON'T LOSE THEIR JOBS!!


So, yeah, it's something to be concerned about but, 9 times out of 10, it could have been prevented had someone been taught proper food handling.

MamaM... MamaMandee

Good thing I don't it lol

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