Chef Julia Child may have chortled “wash that bird,” but for years food safety experts have been pushing back against that practice. Before cooking, washing raw poultry was thought to contaminate the sink and nearby food contact surfaces with “chicken juice” and any pathogens it might contain. A recent observational study conducted by North Carolina State University has pointed to a more significant source of cross-contamination: your hands.
A story making headlines claims that this fast-food chain is using chemicals that could give you cancer. Ignore them. If you need something to worry about, then focus on possibly getting food poisoning from one of its burritos.
A story that's gone viral (again) claims that McDonald's touchscreen menus are fecally tainted. Is it true? No. The global headlines saying otherwise are total lies. So, on what basis are these folks making that ridiculous claim?
E. coli. Salmonella. Campylobacter. Norovirus. When somebody gets sick eating at a restaurant, these are often the culprits. But McDonald's has been hit by an outbreak of Cyclospora. Our PhD microbiologist – who has taken two classes in medical microbiology – had never heard of that. So what is it?
Every single day, you take several IQ tests. You just aren't aware of them. Did you look both ways before crossing the street? Did you get a flu shot? Did you buy that $4 organic banana? These are all IQ tests, and the result is either pass/fail. Occasionally, flunking one of these daily IQ tests has very real consequences. The CDC reports that, in August 2016, at least 17 people in Colorado flunked an IQ test when they consumed raw milk and became sick. Milk samples and patient samples both tested positive for antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter jejuni, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
A United flight (UA-31) bound for Newark (New Jersey) from Munich (Germany) was safely diverted to London Heathrow Airport after multiple passengers complained of feeling lightheaded and unwell. What could cause this?
In a fundraiser turned deadly, the folks of Columbia, Louisiana received a lot more than they signed up for. The likely culprit was determined to be Salmonella contamination of Jambalaya.
Did you even get sick from eating tuna? If so, you may have assumed that it happened because you ate it rare. But that's probably not the case. A particular food poisoning from tuna (and certain other fish) can occur even when the fish is well-cooked. And it's not only food poisoning. It's also an allergic reaction.
In 2015, you were roughly 16 times more likely to get food poisoning from Chipotle than you were to be attacked by a shark. We can't remove all the sharks from the ocean, but we can remove pathogens from our food. Chipotle should have focused on that, instead of GMOs.
Drinking raw milk, or consuming products made from it, can be dangerous, as evidenced by a recent outbreak of listeriosis stemming from unpasteurized cheeses made in New York state. Although the risk of death is not as great as it would be from playing Russian roulette, it's not zero, as two deaths to date can attest.
UV light is dangerous to humans. That's part of the reason why there's widespread interest in discovering light sources that can kill unwanted organisms – while leaving humans unscathed.