It is common to reach out for a burger or a hot dog to satisfy those hunger pangs. Next time, think before you do so as there is a certain amount of health risk associated with it. There are certain foods that can cause severe infections and at times, even death.
Consumption of hot dogs has been linked to 101 cases of illnesses and 21 deaths in one year, as reported to the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC). These were attributed to listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen that is food-borne. It is best to be aware of what these foods are and what they can do and take precautions. Here they are.1
1. Ground Turkey
Studies have shown turkey samples have tested positive for salmonella in ranges of 16.8% to 28.8 %. This clearly shows that if you pick up a turkey without a second thought, there are very good chances of it being a contaminated one. Salmonella invades the gastrointestinal tract, causing salmonella poisoning. Once infected, the only recourse would be to take a course of antibiotic treatment. At times, it can even cause typhoid fever or septic shock too.
“The key is to look for an organic turkey that has been grown without antibiotics.”
Thermal processing is used as a highly effective method for inactivating the pathogens like salmonella. Studies have recommended the minimum heating temperatures and minimum pasteurization times. Hence, check the labels, and only go in for organic ground turkey and make sure to heat it properly. Just to be on the safe side, wash all utensils used to clean, cut or marinate the raw meat thoroughly.2
2. Ground Chicken
Ground chicken samples tested positive for the presence of salmonella between 18% to as high as 35.5%. Apart from salmonella, ground chicken is also said to have campylobacter jejuni. This causes severe diarrhea and if the infectious bacteria spread to the bloodstream, it can also be life-threatening.
Studies have also proved that mere refrigeration does not help in eliminating the contaminants in the ground chicken. They have to be handled safely as well as cooked properly (above 165°F) in order for safe consumption. Don’t forget to hunt for the organic chicken to reduce contamination chances.3
3. Ground Beef
An alarming figure of up to 18.5 % of ground beef samples was found to have the salmonella pathogens. Furthermore, a study has proved that purchasing and eating ground beef from a specific source was the cause of a cluster of cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and escherichia coli (E. coli) gastroenteritis. This incident is said to have triggered the second largest recall of beef in the history of U.S.
The other option is to use the spice oregano or cranberry to reduce the effects of the pathogens while cooking.4
The counter is to look for beef of only grass-fed cattle. This can reduce the number of bacteria in the meat. Cook it at temperatures above 165°F to ensure removal of the bacteria. Handle with care and use safe preparation methods.
4. Raw Oysters
Poultry has to be handled safely and cooked properly, but then, seafood is also under the scanner. Consumption of raw oysters has been linked to the outbreak of multistate hepatitis A as per a study. These were traced to illegally harvested oysters.5 The two action points for safe oyster consumption are.
- Consume only oysters that are cooked thoroughly.
- Only buy oysters from safe harvest beds. You can check these out in your area.
5. Fruit Juice
You may not think of this food as being bad, but over time it is. Fruit juice is consumed by everyone and sometimes in large quantities. Think of it logically. If you drink a bottle of orange juice. You will drink it in a matter of minutes or even seconds if you are thirsty. The same cannot be said when you eat 3 or 4 oranges. This shows that eating the whole fruit is better than the drink.
Fruit juice is also dangerous as it contains a high concentration of fructose, one of the sugars from fruit. Glucose, on the other hand, is processed to release energy for our body. Whereas fructose is a complex sugar that is processed by the liver and stored as fat. In 2014, a study from a journal showed that an average fruit juice contains about 45.5 grams of fructose per liter. This alarming number means that you should be careful next time you grab an orange or mango juice from the store.6
6. Soy Protein
Contrary to what you think, non-fermented soy products that we consume in the form of soy milk and protein is actually bad for you. A Norwegian study showed that most of the soy products that are produced in the U.S are genetically modified. This is done so as to withstand the glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller roundup.7
This means that when you consume soy products that are non-organic you are consuming this chemical which has been linked to many illnesses and human cell death. Consuming soy supplements and other soy protein dietary pills is quite common for people, especially in the U.S. This, has been known to cause illnesses such as.
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Breast cancer
- Cystic fibrosis
- Endometrial cancer
- Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid)
- Kidney disease
- Urinary bladder cancer
When it comes to what we put in our tummies, it is always better to be safer than sorry. Food poisoning can even be fatal in some cases.
|↑1||Donnelly, Catherine W. “Listeria monocytogenes: a continuing challenge.” Nutrition Reviews 59, no. 6 (2001): 183-194.|
|↑2, ↑4||Fratamico, Pina M. “Comparison of culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), TaqMan Salmonella, and Transia Card Salmonella assays for detection of Salmonella spp. in naturally-contaminated ground chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef.” Molecular and cellular probes 17, no. 5 (2003): 215-221.|
|↑3||Fratamico, Pina M. “Comparison of culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), TaqMan Salmonella, and Transia Card Salmonella assays for detection of Salmonella spp. in naturally-contaminated ground chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef.” Molecular and cellular probes 17, no. 5 (2003): 215-221.|
|↑5||Desenclos, J. C., Karl C. Klontz, Michael H. Wilder, Omana V. Nainan, Harold S. Margolis, and Robert A. Gunn. “A multistate outbreak of hepatitis A caused by the consumption of raw oysters.” American Journal of Public Health 81, no. 10 (1991): 1268-1272.|
|↑6||Walker, Ryan W., Kelly A. Dumke, and Michael I. Goran. “Fructose content in popular beverages made with and without high-fructose corn syrup.” Nutrition 30, no. 7 (2014): 928-935.|
|↑7||Bøhn, Thomas, Marek Cuhra, Terje Traavik, Monica Sanden, J. Fagan, and R. Primicerio. “Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans.” Food chemistry 153 (2014): 207-215.|