We all heard about Chipotle’s recent food contamination issues. There were norovirus outbreaks at college campuses such as Boston College and Kent State University where hundreds of students fell ill. E. coli outbreaks plague the country all too frequently.
Last week a Hepatitis A outbreak occurred on three different Hawaiian islands, it’s currently linked to a Baskin Robbins and a Chili’s. These incidents leave us concerned about eating at certain restaurants and confused as to how it happens.
There are a number of foodborne illnesses you can contract from eating out, but here’s a list of 10 major ones to watch out for and some prevention tactics from the Center for Disease Control.
Prevention: Cook all poultry products through (no pink), avoid unpasteurized milk, use separate cutting boards, wash hands with soap and water.
2. E. coli
Prevention: Avoid swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, avoid unpasteurized milk, wash hands with soap and water.
3. Hepatitis A
Prevention: Hepatitis A vaccine.
Prevention: Thoroughly rinse raw produce, immediately clean up all spills in the fridge, use leftovers within three to four days, wash hands with soap and water.
Prevention: Clean and disinfect surfaces, cook seafood thoroughly, wash hands with soap and water.
Prevention: Rotavirus vaccine.
Prevention: Avoid contact with reptiles, cook poultry, ground beef, and eggs thoroughly, wash hands with soap and water.
Prevention: Avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes, or untreated swimming pools, follow food and water precautions when traveling in a foreign country, wash hands with soap and water.
Prevention: Avoid saltwater if you have an open wound, avoid raw or undercooked shellfish, wash hands with soap and water.
Prevention: Avoid eating raw or undercooked pork, drink only pasteurized milk, use separate cutting boards, wash hands with soap and water.
So, what’s the easiest way to prevent foodborne illnesses?
When you’re dealing with food, wash your hands with soap and water. Cleanliness seems so easy but it’s often overlooked, especially at home.
Hepatitis A and Rotavirus are preventable by vaccination, as stated above. While both are vaccines mandatory for children entering public school kindergarten in the US, that doesn’t mean everyone working in the American food industry has had those vaccinations. In order to prevent as much foodborne illness as possible, food service workers should be required to receive the Hepatitis A and Rotavirus immunizations.