6 Foods an ER Doctor will NEVER eat!

 

#1 is “RAW/RED/PINK GROUND MEATS OR CHICKEN”

Eating undercooked ground beef or undercooked chicken can cause some of the most devastating food borne illnesses.

The Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) found in over half of all restaurants studied:

  • Failing to wash hands after handling raw ground beef & failing to determine doneness of hamburgers without using a thermometer were common.
  • Slightly less than half of managers knew the temperature to which raw chicken needed to be cooked for it to be safe to eat.

Eating undercooked hamburger or chicken at a restaurant puts your health at risk.

#2 is “OYSTERS & RAW FISH”

While seafood comprises < 1% of the typical Americans’ diet, seafood is responsible for roughly 25% of all food borne disease in the US. When you add all aquatic animals and mollusks they account for 36% of all food borne outbreaks and 10% of all illnesses.

  • 96% of all seafood diseases are due to ingestion of raw oysters according to a study published in Microbial Ecology.

#3 is “RUNNY, SLIMMY EGGS”

According to (EHS-Net) studies there is at least a 25% chance that cracked raw eggs have been at room temperature before they are used and if in pancakes or French toast they may have been on the countertop for beyond 6 hours.

#4 is “ALFALFA SPROUTS”

Alfalfa sprouts are not cooked. Like any fresh produce that is consumed raw or lightly cooked, raw sprouts carry a risk of food borne illness.

 What makes raw sprouts different from other raw produce? The seeds and beans need warm, humid conditions to sprout and grow, the same conditions that are ideal for bacteria to grow, including dangerous bacteria like Salmonella.

In short crispy alfalfa sprouts are never clean.

#5 is “CREAMY SALADS AT A PICNIC OR POTLUCK”

Within a hand full of hours at room temperature, Staph bacteria can grow in ham, egg, tuna, chicken, potato or macaroni salads to dangerous levels. Milk & creamy dairy products are the perfect environment for this bacteria to produce its toxin. A few hours later you are suffering from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

#6 is “SNACKS FROM A COMMUNITY SERVING BOWL”

Dirty hands are everywhere. The data is stunning. Sixteen percent of cell phones are contaminated with stool. A National Institute of Health study showed that hands washed for 15 seconds still have over 20% of bacteria and even after washing for 2 minutes 10% of bacteria remain.

Would you let your dentist put his hands in your mouth without washing? Whose dirty hands do you want in your mouth?

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Author: Dr. Harlan Stueven, MD

Harlan Stueven M.D. is a Board-Certified Emergency physician with sub-specialization in Environmental Toxicology and Board Certification in Medical Toxicology. Starting his career in the USAF, he served as a Flight Surgeon and Environmental Health Consultant Physician where one of his duties was monitoring food safety. In his nearly 40-year practice, he treated a range of medical, surgical and poisoning emergencies. He has been a Medical Director and/or Chairman of several hospital-based Emergency Medicine Departments, served as the President of Emergency and Environmental Medicine consulting group, a physician group Chief Financial Officer and sat on many national, state and local committees. Dr. Stueven founded Dining Grades and the Dining Safety Alliance to improve food safety by increasing awareness of food borne illness and the formation of partnerships within the food industry. He is a consultant to the Wisconsin Retail Food Establishment Grading Work Group; a Co-investigator in a CDC funded “Evaluation of Health Department Restaurant Inspection Programs” project. He has presented at several National, State and Regional conferences on restaurant grading and food safety. He is an accomplished leader, medical researcher, a champion of process improvement, author, and national and international speaker.

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