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CDC: Produce, Leafy Greens Blamed for Most Food-Borne Diseases

Every year, one in six Americans get a food-borne illness. A new CDC report offers the first comprehensive estimates of which foods are to blame.

Feeling sick? Think it's something you ate but aren't sure? 

A WebMD report says yearly, about 48 million Americans get a food-borne illness, and often the food that caused the illness remains a mystery.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now compiled a list of the most likely foods to blame. To do so, the CDC evaluated nearly 4,600 food-borne disease outbreaks from 1998 to 2008. 

Some highlights from the findings: 

  • Nearly half of illnesses were linked to produce, and of those foods, leafy greens were most often involved. According to the report, norovirus is to blame and causes about 20 million cases of "stomach flu" each year.
  • Dairy was the second most frequent food source for infections.
  • Contaminated poultry was to blame for the most deaths. 
  • Dairy and eggs accounted for 20 percent of illnesses. 
  • Fish and shellfish accounted for 6.1 percent of illnesses. 

Please note that the CDC and WebMD do not recommend avoiding these foods, especially healthy ones. Click here to read the full report, which includes tips on protecting yourself from food-borne illness in the kitchen and while eating out. 

You may also want to check out the latest local restaurant inspection scores. 

See also:

  • Restaurant Grades: Elementary School Gets Perfect Score
  • Restaurant Grades: Hot Wings Cafe Gets a 'U'
  • Restaurant Grades: Know Then Go
  • Restaurant Grades: Caribbean Restaurant Gets '55/U'

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