5 Surprising Causes of Food Poisoning

Did you know 1 in 6 get sick with food poisoning per year? That’s around 48 million people! 

Here are some things that you may not realize can cause food poisoning:

1) Purses and tote bags on countertops. Non-food items like purses and tote bags can carry unwanted, harmful bacteria. Keep them off countertops and away from food and utensils. Reusable grocery bags can also carry harmful bacteria, so wash them often.

2) Not cleaning up spills immediately. Procrastination can make you sick. Spills can harbor bacteria, so don’t wait – clean them up. This includes foods leaking in your refrigerator and splatters on the inside of the microwave. Clean messes immediately with hot, soapy water, to get rid of unwanted bacteria.

3) Washing produce before you store it. Most people already know to wash produce – but when is the best time? The answer is: just before you eat it, not before you store it. Washing produce before you store it can potentially promote bacterial growth and enhance spoilage.

4) Storing eggs in the door of the refrigerator. Those convenient egg holders in your refrigerator door? Don’t use them. Opening and closing the fridge door can let eggs become too warm. To store eggs safely, place them on a shelf inside the refrigerator so they keep a consistent, cool temperature at or below 40°F.

5) Cracks in dishes and cutting boards. Chips and cracks in both dishes and cutting boards can collect bacteria and potentially make you sick. Discard anything that is chipped or old (for example, cutting boards that have cracks, crevices or excessive knife scares) to ensure you stay food-safe.

Food & Nutrition Magazine
Food & Nutrition Magazine publishes articles on food and diet trends, highlights of nutrition research and resources, updates on public health issues and policy initiatives related to nutrition, and explorations of the cultural and social factors that shape Americans’ diets and health.