Imported Fish and Spices Cause Foodborne Illnesses

Foodborne diseases are on the rise, the CDC says

As the number of foodborne illnesses keeps going up, the CDC says they may have found the main culprits: imported fish and spices.

Seventeen outbreaks were linked to imported fish between 2005 and 2010, and another six were linked to spices (five of them from fresh or dried peppers), the CDC said Wednesday. Nearly 45 percent of the imported foods that caused the outbreaks were from Asia; the list of foods includes fish, oysters, cheese, sprouts, and serrano and jalapeño peppers, reports FOX News.

As NPR points out, imported foods aren't riskier than foods grown in the U.S.; the problem is that Americans are eating more imported foods than ever. Said an epidemiologist at the CDC, Hannah Gould, "Since the late 1990s the amount of food that's imported has doubled... The number of outbreaks has mirrored that."

There's no way to avoid all imported foods, but consumers can take some preventative measures to avoid illness: avoid raw and undercooked meats, wash veggies, thoroughly cook eggs, and keep up good kitchen hygiene.

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