10 Types of Food That Can Make You Sick

The riskiest foods

Food poisoning is a horrible, even potentially life-threatening experience. But it’s hard to determine if food is safe to eat, partly because problems are relatively rare.

But knowing which foods are potentially risky can help.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued a list of the top 10 FDA-regulated foods linked to outbreaks since 1990. (That includes produce, seafood, egg, and dairy products, but not meat.)

Be aware of the risk, but don’t avoid these types of food. “They are everywhere and are part of a healthy diet,” says CSPI staff attorney, Sarah Klein.

Leafy greens

Yes, they’re you’re favorite go-to salad greens—lettuce, escarole, endive, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula, and chard.

But they also caused 363 outbreaks involving 13,568 reported cases of illness since 1990. (Remember bagged spinach in 2006?)

Greens can be contaminated by manure, dirty water rinses, or unwashed hands before you even purchase them.

To avoid getting sick, wash produce and prevent cross-contamination (improper handling of meat in the kitchen can spread bacteria to other types of food, including greens) by washing hands and using separate cutting boards.


This breakfast favorite has been linked to 352 outbreaks since 1990, most often due to Salmonella bacteria.

The bacteria can lurk inside the egg, so proper cooking is key (which kills the germs). Avoid eating any products containing raw eggs, including cookie dough.

“Our food supply is safe,” says Craig Hedberg, PhD, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. “There is roughly one illness for every three to four thousand meals served,” he says.

Still, “raw food items like eggs may have contamination and need to be handled properly.”


This type of fish can be contaminated by scombrotoxin, which causes flushing, headaches, and cramps.

If it is stored above 60 degrees after being caught, fresh fish can release the toxin, which cannot be destroyed by cooking (and is unrelated to mercury contamination or other problems related to tuna and other fish).

Tuna has been linked to 268 scombroid poisoning outbreaks since 1990.

“You just can’t cook out all the things wrong with food supply right now,” CSPI's Klein says.


Before being transformed into a pricey delicacy, oysters lurk on the ocean floor doing what they do best—filter feeding.

And if the water they are filtering is contaminated, so are the oysters. (Or they can be contaminated during handling.)

If served raw or undercooked, oysters can contain germs—mostly a gut-churner called norovirus and a bacterium known as Vibrio vulnificus—that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


A freshly scrubbed spud that’s properly cooked is unlikely to cause illness. But watch out for potato salad.

Cross contamination—the transfer of germs from one type of food, usually meat, to another—can be the source of the problem.

Potato-related outbreaks of illness have been traced to germs like Listeria (which can live on deli counters ), Shigella, E. coli, and Salmonella.


While restaurants are a key source of other food-related outbreaks, most people who get sick from cheese do so from products consumed at home.

Cheese can be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria, which can cause miscarriages.

Ice Cream

I scream, you scream. We all scream from ice cream? Ice cream has been linked to 75 outbreaks caused by bacteria like Salmonella and Staphylococcus since 1990, according to the CSPI.

The largest outbreak occurred in 1994, when a batch of pasteurized ice cream premix was transported in a Salmonella-contaminated truck, and then used to make ice cream without re-pasteurizing.

“People are making ice cream at home and using raw eggs in the household,” explains Hedberg.


Although tomatoes were found “not guilty” in a 2008 outbreak that sickened thousands (the culprits were jalapeno and Serrano peppers), this summer favorite has been linked to at least 31 outbreaks.

“Lettuce or tomatoes may be contaminated, but once they enter a household, you can make sure that you don’t allow the bacteria to grow and multiply,” says Hedberg.

To do this: wash hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce; wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking, even if you plan to peel it before eating; and keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from other foods.


While sprouts are practically the poster child for healthy food, they can also be vulnerable to bacterial contamination.

The seeds used to produce the sprouts can be contaminated in the field, and water and warm growing conditions that encourage germination can also boost bacterial growth.

The FDA and CDC recommend that the elderly, young children, and those with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts.


Another common source of food poisoning is berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

A 1997 outbreak that sickened thousands of children via school lunches was traced to hepatitis A-contaminated frozen strawberries (possibly from a farm worker in Baja California, Mexico).

Other cases—linked to imported raspberries from Chile and Guatemala—have been caused by a germ called Cyclospora, which causes severe diarrhea, dehydrations, and cramps.

source: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/thumbnails/0,,20310810,00.html

Obesity campaign controversy

Recommendations being considered for Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign has some wondering if the government is trying to control what America eats.

Iguazu Falls National Park, Argentina

Enormous, tropical green leaves, clear rushing water, mist sprinkling over your face and altogether one of the most picturesque nature scenes you will ever see in your life. This peaceful and beautiful place called Iguazu Falls is one of the most exquisite natural wonders of the world. Therefore, it must be on your list of places to see in South America. In addition, I felt so much more at peace in Iguazu National Park than I have during my entire stay in Argentina. The town, the people, the waterfalls, the nature and the vibe I received from everywhere and everyone were wonderful and refreshing. Even though Iguazu Fallss is a hot spot for tourists, it is still very easy to feel one with nature.

To start off, it is important to talk about iguazu falls from the Brazilian side separately from the falls from the Argentine side. I can only describe the falls from the Argentine side, as that was the only side I was allowed to go to. Without a Brazilian Visa, U.S. citizens are not allowed to cross their border. However, while asking people whether or not we were allowed to enter Brazil, we did receive several offers to have random taxis drive us across the border. While some people take advantage of these offers, I was not in the mood to take the risk. If you do get caught, you will have to pay the $100 U.S. dollar fee for the Visa. I do not know what else happens, so we decided to play it safe and stay on the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls. Fortunately, it was incredible and offers every angle imaginable of the falls.

Another factor to consider is how much time you want to stay in Iguazu. While I would recommend taking your time and enjoying its beauty, you can pretty much cover all of the falls on Argentina’s side in one day if you want. However, this means getting an early start and maybe walking at a decent pace. We didn’t get there until 10, ate a pleasant and slow lunch at La Selva Buffet, and saw everything but one individual waterfall. However, I recommend taking your time and not rushing through to see everything. In addition, the park tickets are $30 pesos a person, but you can get your second day’s tickets for half price if you turn your ticket in at the end of your first day. This is a bargain well worth taking the time to exchange your tickets for.

As for Iguazu National Park and the falls themselves, you are in for an unimaginable treat. The falls were much larger, more fantastic and more mind-blowing than I had expected. I knew the falls were gorgeous, but all descriptions heard and pictures seen do not do them justice. There is no way something so beautiful and enormous could be captured in a photo. It would be a sin to visit South America and not take a trip to the falls!

I would also recommend that you try to see all of the falls. Each lookout point had a different view, and many more hidden pools or waterfalls came into view once seen from a different spot. The Circuito Inferior can be a little crowded, but I found the paths to be less crowded when stairs were involved…just a little hint for those of you who like to hike or walk at a good pace. However, do not walk so fast that you miss a Toucan flying over your head or a monkey in a tree! Iguazu Falls is all about the scenery and the experience of being surrounded by nature’s magnificent creations. I imagine it would be impossible to not find peace and relaxation at Iguazu. Do not commit the sin of leaving South America before seeing it!

source: http://argentinastravel.com/113/iguazu-falls-argentina-my-paradise/

Dry Tortugas - Fort Jefferson

Seventy miles off of Key West the Dry Tortugas is the site of Fort Jefferson built with 16 million bricks in the 1840’s and surrounded by breathtaking coral reefs just off the beach.

You can get to the Dry Tortugas on a 2 hour cruise aboard the Yankee Freedoom II.

Dry Tortugas National Park

PO Box 6208
Key West, Florida 33041
Phone: 305-242-7700

Directions: Located 70 miles west of Key West, it can only be reached by boat or seaplane. Our favorite is the Yankee Freedom II ferry which takes 2 hours.

The Inside Florida Scoop:

  • A comfortable 2 hour cruise gets you to Dry Tortugas
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snorkeling gear are provided on the Yankee Freedom II
  • Fort Jefferson is impressive, very photogenic, and huge
  • Snorkel right off the beach in a few feet of water
  • The water is crystal clear turquoise
  • You will see many types of tropical fish, live coral, and other sea life
  • Bring sun protection - sunscreen and a sun shirt work well

Dry Tortugas Name and History

The name for the cluster of islands comes from Ponce de Leon who visited in 1513 and was in awe over the abundance of sea turtles. He named this area “Tortugas” which means turtles in Spanish. The most common is the loggerhead sea turtle but you can also see green, hawksbill, and leatherback sea turtles nesting and swimming in the area.

In the 1600’s and 1700’s many pirates made this area home base while waiting to attack ships as they sailed pass.

The Entrance to Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas
Dry Tortugas Weather

The park is open year round with it subtropical climate the weather can change quickly. The winter season of December through March tends to be the windiest and have the roughest seas. April and May are very pleasant. June through November is considered hurricane season but you’ll also find the calmest seas while intense storms can come up at any time. During the summer months, it can get extremely humid and hot (drink lots of water, wear plenty of suntan lotion, and cool off in the turquoise waters.)

A tropical fish on the reef at Dry Tortugas

Mini Cruise

The Inside Florida team signed up for a full day excursion on the Yankee Freedom II to the Dry Tortugas. It was a fantastic trip aboard the Yankee Freedom with friendly and informative staff, air conditioned sections with table seating, breakfast and lunch buffets, and Captain Rick with his loyal yellow labrador, Salty.

The ferry has a 250 person capacity but Yankee Freedom limits it to 100 people so you don’t feel crowded at all. You can walk around the vessel’s decks, sit on on the upper deck with wide ocean views, and even hang out with Captain Rick during the 2 hour trip.

The naturalist also named Rick answered every question we had about the Dry Tortugas National Park and pointed out interesting facts along the journey. You’ll pass the treasure hunters as they continue to excavate treasure from the Spanish galleons’ Atocha and Santa Margarita that sunk during a hurricane in 1622. The galleons were filled with millions of dollars worth of gold, silver, jewels, and artifacts.

Fort Jefferson

As you approach Fort Jefferson on the Yankee Freedom II, you’ll see how massive it is a few miles out. It’s architecture is impressive for a fort its size. The US Military started building Fort Jefferson in 1846 with the goal of protecting the waterways and ships headed for ports to the Gulf coast region.

After 16 million red bricks were laid into this 3 story, 6 sided fort, it was never completed. The development of more modern weapons made the fort obsolete. You’ll can take a 40 minute guided tour when you first arrive to Garden Key, home of Fort Jefferson.

Snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas

After a tour of Fort Jefferson, grab your snorkeling gear (Yankee Freedom provides it if you don’t have your own) and head to the beach. Make sure to also review one of Yankee Freedom’s snorkeling maps of the area.

Living coral reefs are typically 2 to 3 miles offshore from the Keys but at the Dry Tortugas you walk right into the white sandy beach and head to the wall around the moat to see beautiful brain coral, sea fans, schools of tropical fish, queen conchs, and huge sea urchins. It’s one of the most easy and beautiful places to snorkel. The depth is just a few feet to about 15 feet deep along the fort’s outer walls.

More experienced snorkelers can also enjoy the South Coaling Dock Ruins which are old metal pilings from the coal docks.

After snorkeling, head back to the Yankee Freedom for a fresh water shower. It is so refreshing!

The arches of Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas Florida

Dry Tortugas Camping

Our friends loved camping at the Dry Tortugas on the island of Garden Key with Fort Jefferson. One of the most amazing experiences is sitting on top of the 3rd floor of Fort Jefferson during sunset (bring a camera!).

It is a primitive campsite so you must bring everything including water. Yankee Freedom provides ferry transport for campers and allows you to bring 60 pounds of gear. You can also bring a kayak or small canoe for an additional charge. There’s only 11 campsites so you need to make reservations early. The ferries head out around 3:00 pm so the island becomes pretty empty which give the campers lots of peace and quiet while exploring and snorkeling.

Fishing is allowed but spearfishing and lobstering is prohibited. The mosquitoes are minimal because there is no still water for them to breed in.

Bird Watching on Dry Tortugas
During the months of February through September, a close by island called Bush Key is closed for nesting Sooty and Noddy Terns. Between March and September more than 100,000 sotty terns nest in the area along with brown pelicans, brown noddies, roseate terns, and double crested cormorants.

Dry Tortugas National Park
The park is open year round. Fort Jefferson is open from sunrise to sunset during daylight hours. Campers and private boaters are able to enjoy the quiet, pristine surroundings early in the mornings and the early evenings at sunset.

source:http://www.insideflorida.com/detail/dry-tortugas/, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fort-Jefferson_Dry-Tortugas.jpg