Food-borne illnesses an ever-present threat

Dec 01, 2010

Almost any type of food can contain hidden dangers if not properly handled.

Recent government data is serving as a reminder of how people of all ages and levels of overall health need to be wary of the dangers of food-borne illnesses.

Each year, thousands of people are sickened or hospitalized by food-borne illnesses, which can take a variety of forms and which can be found on a wide range of products, from meats to produce. In fact, this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted in a report that poultry, beef and leafy vegetables were among the most common sources of food-borne pathogens.

The CDC also reported that in 2007, there were 1,097 food-borne illness outbreaks, which resulted in 18 deaths and 21,244 illnesses.

In what may the most troubling detail from a public health standpoint, the report added that the actual source of these outbreaks had been identified in less than half of the cases. Since almost any kind of food can become contaminated, it's important for people to sufficiently cook all meats and to wash off produce before serving it.

There are many reasons to invest in life insurance, and the possibility of an unexpected tragedy that could saddle family members with years of financial difficulty is just one of them.

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