HIGH RISK FOODS

 

All foods – regardless of how or where they were produced – carry a risk for causing foodborne illness.  Some foods, like raw milk, sprouts and undercooked eggs, meat, poultry and fish, are commonly associated with foodborne illness and are considered “high risk.”  However, other foods – like leafy greens, tomatoes and cantaloupes – can also cause illness.  Since the risk of illness also depends on an individual’s health status, some foods are considered “high risk” for certain groups of people.  For example, deli meats, hot dogs and soft cheeses are considered to be “high risk” foods for pregnant women due to the risk for listeria monocytogenes.

 

Scientists are working hard to better understand which foods carry the highest risks and who is most likely to be impacted.  Below is a list of recently identified pathogen-food combinations:

 

Top ten pathogen-food combinations as measured by annual cost of illness

and by Quality Adjusted Year Life (QALY) loss, by combined rank

 

  • Campylobacter/Poultry
  • Toxoplasma gondii/Pork
  • Listeria monocytogenes/Deli meat
  • Salmonella/Poultry
  • Listeria monocytogenes/Dairy
  • Salmonella/Complex food, like salads, sandwiches or casseroles
  • Norovirus/Complex food, like salads, sandwiches or casseroles
  • Salmonella/Produce
  • Toxoplasma gondii/Beef
  • Salmonella/Eggs

 

Source:  Batz  M, Hoffman S, Morris JG.  Ranking the risks:  The 10 pathogen-food combinations with the greatest burden on public health. Figure 3-2. U. of FL, 2011, p. 42.

 

For more information, visit:

 

https://folio.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/10244/1022/72267report.pdf

 

http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/attribution/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CENTER FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS RESEARCH & PREVENTION  |  cfi@foodborneillness.org