Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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In our quest to eat right, we search out healthy foods: protein-packed eggs, iron-rich leafy greens, calcium-rich cheese. I don't know about you, but I always feel so much better - mentally and physically - when I make healthy food choices. Besides, somehow I'm naturally drawn to those healthier foods; maybe my body knows what it needs and I'm learning to listen.
But one thing we don't think about is that sometimes these healthy foods can be carrying harmful bacteria.
I was surprised to read about a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) which found that leafy greens, sprouts and berries are among the foods most likely to carry infections or toxins. (Since meat products are not regulated by the FDA, they were not included in their list.)
While it's certainly not their aim to discourage people from eating healthy (they're the same folks who turned my husband totally off to Chinese food when, years back, they published a report of how laden with sugar and fat some of his very favorite dishes were), this consumer advocacy group is trying to encourage consumers to be aware of the nation's food safety system and practice defensive eating habits, like keeping food cold, cooking it thoroughly and avoiding raw eggs.
If you've ever had a bout with food poisoning - I have had a few mild cases in years past - then you can understand the importance of careful handling habits.
These foods were included in their top 10 list:
Another thing I'd suggest is washing your greens thoroughly - even if you buy the packaged kinds that say "pre-washed." Read what the FDA has to say about all food safety.
Here's what US News has to say about it.