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CSPI releases its list of the 10 riskiest foods


Should you eat those leafy greens? Those eggs? That tuna sandwich?

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) – Washington, those are the top three foods on its list of the 10 riskiest foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA).

The CSPI released the list in its report, The Ten Riskiest Foods Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on Oct. 6.

Those three, leafy greens, eggs and tuna, and the remaining seven account for nearly 40 per cent of all foodborne outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated foods.

And the fact that there are so many healthy foods on the list only emphasizes how critical it is that the U.S. Senate follow the House and pass legislation that reforms the U.S.’s “fossilized food safety laws,” says the CSPI.

The FDA is responsible for regulating produce, seafood, egg and dairy products, as well as typical packaged foods such as cookie dough and peanut butter – nearly 80 per cent of the American food supply.

And more than 1,500 separate, definable outbreaks were associated with the top 10 riskiest FDA-regulated foods, causing nearly 50,000 reported illnesses. Since most foodborne illnesses are never reported, these outbreaks, says the CSPI, “are only the tip of a large, hulking iceberg.”

The 10 riskiest foods

Eggs were linked to 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.
The CSPI says that outbreaks involving potatoes didn’t seem to make headlines, but were linked to 108 outbreaks and 3,659 cases of illness. Cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts, and berries round out the top 10 list.

The data come from CSPI’s Outbreak Alert! Database, which includes outbreaks from 1990 to 2006, using data collected from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources.