Which foods pose the biggest risk of poisoning?

Food poisoning is a particularly unpleasant experience for anyone and if you have suffered from it you will have instantly wanted to know the specific cause. Often it is not due to that takeaway you ate last night, indeed a lot of food poisoning can take a number of days or weeks to take effect.

The spokeswoman for Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Lorraine Belanger, described how easily it can occur. She said: “People think of chicken as the number one suspect but actually things like salads and cut fruit, if handled in the wrong way or exposed to wrong things, can cause major foodborne outbreaks.”

The Food Safety Information Council’s executive officer Juliana Madden added: “Some of the largest food safety issues that have popped up in the last few years have been things like baby spinach and tomatoes.”

It is possible for eggs to carry salmonella although cooking them thoroughly will kill bacteria. Listeria can be found in deli meats and turkey, chicken and duck can carry campylobacter and salmonella. E. coli can contaminate sprouts and it is possible for listeria to grow on the skin of cantaloupes. Additionally, raw vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce and celery can carry E. coli and salmonella and rice can be contaminated with Bacillus cereus.

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