Restaurants take the cake for food poisoning

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- While dining out is luxurious, a home-cooked meal may be the safer way to go.

Recent data from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) shows that Americans are twice as likely to get food poisoning from food prepared in a restaurant than food prepared at home.

This non-profit food safety organization analyzed outbreaks of foodborne illness across a decade. They found that over a thousand outbreaks in restaurants sickened more than 28,000 people. Only 893 outbreaks in homes caused 13,00 cases.

CSPI's research does not stop there. When studying raw milk outbreaks they found that among 104 outbreaks, 70 percent of them were caused by raw milk. However, one percent of consumers drink raw milk, so they are burdened by 70 percent of all illnesses from milk.

Sarah Klein, CSPI senior food safety attorney says people should avoid raw milk.

"Pasteurization of milk is one of the most important public health advances of the last 100 years, sparing countless people from infections and deaths caused by Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria," Klein said.

CSPI noted that documented outbreaks from individual states have decreased. Still, they say the lack of reported outbreaks doesn't mean they aren't happening. CSPI says state public health budgets have diverted in the recent years. Caroline Smith DeWaal, CSPI food safety director believes that the lack of reporting on outbreaks has reached epidemic proportions.

"Despite the improvements in food safety policy in the past decade far too many Americans still are sick, being hospitalized, or even dying due to contaminated food," DeWaal said.

To find unique and solved outbreaks of foodborne illnesses visit CSPI's Outbreak Alert! database.

Written by: Brittany Linton, WUSA9


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment